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Distributional Incentives in an Equilibrium Model of Domestic Sovereign Default

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  • Pablo D'Erasmo
  • Enrique G. Mendoza

Abstract

Europe's debt crisis resembles historical episodes of outright default on domestic public debt about which little research exists. This paper proposes a theory of domestic sovereign default based on distributional incentives affecting the welfare of risk-averse debt and nondebtholders. A utilitarian government cannot sustain debt if default is costless. If default is costly, debt with default risk is sustainable, and debt falls as the concentration of debt ownership rises. A government favoring bond holders can also sustain debt, with debt rising as ownership becomes more concentrated. These results are robust to adding foreign investors, redistributive taxes, or a second asset.

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  • Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2016. "Distributional Incentives in an Equilibrium Model of Domestic Sovereign Default," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 7-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:14:y:2016:i:1:p:7-44.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeon, Kiyoung & Kabukcuoglu, Zeynep, 2018. "Income inequality and sovereign default," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 211-232.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Miguel Angel Santos, 2016. "From Financial Repression to External Distress: The Case of Venezuela," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(2), pages 255-284, February.
    3. D’Erasmo, P. & Mendoza, E.G. & Zhang, J., 2016. "What is a Sustainable Public Debt?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2493-2597, Elsevier.
    4. Röhrs, Sigrid & Winter, Christoph, 2017. "Reducing government debt in the presence of inequality," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-20.
    5. Falko Juessen & Andreas Schabert, 2013. "Fiscal Policy, Sovereign Default, and Bailouts," Working Paper Series in Economics 67, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    6. Xuan Wang, 2019. "When Do Currency Unions Benefit From Default ?," 2019 Papers pwa938, Job Market Papers.
    7. Cristina Arellano & Yan Bai, 2014. "Renegotiation Policies in Sovereign Defaults," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 94-100, May.
    8. Engler, Philipp & Große Steffen, Christoph, 2016. "Sovereign risk, interbank freezes, and aggregate fluctuations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 34-61.
    9. Michinao Okachi, 2019. "Sovereign Default Triggered by Inability to Repay Debt," IMES Discussion Paper Series 19-E-10, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
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    12. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2018. "History Remembered: Optimal Sovereign Default on Domestic and External Debt," NBER Working Papers 25073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & César Sosa-Padilla, 2016. "Debt Dilution and Sovereign Default Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(5), pages 1383-1422.
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    17. Phan, Toan, 2017. "A model of sovereign debt with private information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 1-17.
    18. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique Mendoza, 2011. "Optimal Domestic (and External) Sovereign Default," PIER Working Paper Archive 16-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Aug 2016.
    19. Juessen, Falko & Linnemann, Ludger & Schabert, Andreas, 2016. "Default Risk Premia On Government Bonds In A Quantitative Macroeconomic Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 380-403, January.
    20. Andreasen, Eugenia & Sandleris, Guido & Van der Ghote, Alejandro, 2019. "The political economy of sovereign defaults," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 23-36.
    21. Bocola, Luigi & Bornstein, Gideon & Dovis, Alessandro, 2019. "Quantitative sovereign default models and the European debt crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 20-30.
    22. Yasunori Fujita, 2016. "A new look at fiscal sustainability: an attempt to reveal the relationship between the sustainability of external debt and the inequality," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 161-165.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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