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Sovereign Debt, Reputation and Credit Terms

  • Eaton, Jonathan

This paper develops a model in which sovereign debtors repay debt in order to maintain a reputation for repayment. Repayment gives creditors reason to think that the debtor will suffer adverse consequences if the debtor defaults, so they continue to lend. I compare a situation in which competitive lenders earn zero profit on each loan with one in which they can make long-term commitments to individual borrowers, so that the zero-profit condition applies only in the long run. In many circumstances, a borrower benefits ex ante if lenders commit to denying credit to a borrower in default even if, at that point, a subsequent loan is profitable. Furthermore, a "debt overhang," while possibly altering credit terms, does not cause profitable investment opportunities to go unexploited. Copyright @ 1996 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal International Journal of Finance & Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 25-35

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Handle: RePEc:ijf:ijfiec:v:1:y:1996:i:1:p:25-35
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  1. Jeremy I. Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," NBER Working Papers 2623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kehoe, Timothy J & Levine, David K, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 865-88, October.
  3. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Working Papers 1894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Andrew Atkeson, 2010. "International lending with moral hazard and risk of repudiation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 200, David K. Levine.
  5. Cole, Harold L & Dow, James & English, William B, 1995. "Default, Settlement, and Signalling: Lending Resumption in a Reputational Model of Sovereign Debt," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 365-85, May.
  6. Herschel I. Grossman & John B. Van Huyck, 1985. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 1673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1983. "Incentive Effects of Terminations: Applications to the Credit and Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 912-27, December.
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