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Hope Springs Eternal – French Bondholders and the Soviet Repudiation (1915–1919)


  • Kim Oosterlinck
  • John Landon-lane


Repudiations rarely occur due to their extreme nature. This paper provides an empirical study based on an original database: prices of a Tsarist bond traded in Paris before and after its repudiation by the Soviets. A structural VAR is used to disentangle French market shocks from repudiation specific ones. After the repudiation, we identify shocks that are related with bailouts, hopes of partial bailouts, negotiations with the Soviets and the Russian civil war. We argue that bond prices essentially reflected expected extreme events that never took place and were thus subject to a “Peso problem”. Copyright Oxford University Press Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Kim Oosterlinck & John Landon-lane, 2006. "Hope Springs Eternal – French Bondholders and the Soviet Repudiation (1915–1919)," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 10(4), pages 507-535, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revfin:v:10:y:2006:i:4:p:507-535
    DOI: 10.1007/s10679-006-9005-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. Kim Oosterlinck & Loredana Ureche-Rangau, 2004. "Entre la peste et le choléra: le détenteur d'obligations peut préférer la répudiation au défaut," Working Papers CEB 04-021.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tobias A. Jopp, 2014. "How did the capital market evaluate Germany’s prospects for winning World War I? Evidence from the Amsterdam market for government bonds," Working Papers 0052, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    2. Bernal, Oscar & Oosterlinck, Kim & Szafarz, Ariane, 2010. "Observing bailout expectations during a total eclipse of the sun," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1193-1205, November.
    3. Daniel Waldenstrom & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Using Markets to Measure Pre-War Threat Assessments: The Nordic Countries facing World War II," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-27, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Kim Oosterlinck & Loredana Ureche-Rangau, 2008. "Multiple Potential Payers and Sovereign Bond Prices," Finance, Presses universitaires de Grenoble, vol. 29(1), pages 31-52.
    5. Kim Oosterlinck, 2013. "Sovereign debt defaults: insights from history," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 697-714, WINTER.
    6. Xavier De Scheemaekere & Kim Oosterlinck & Ariane Szafarz, 2012. "Addressing Economic Crises: The Reference-Class Problem," Working Papers CEB 12-024, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7874 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Vidovics-Dancs, Ágnes, 2014. "Az államcsőd költségei régen és ma
      [Costs of sovereign defaults now and long ago]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 262-278.
    9. Waldenström, Daniel, 2010. "Why does sovereign risk differ for domestic and external debt? Evidence from Scandinavia, 1938-1948," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 387-402, April.
    10. Xavier De Scheemaekere & Kim Oosterlinck & Ariane Szafarz, 2014. "Issues in Identifying Economic Crises: Insights from History," Working Papers CEB 14-014, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Jopp, Tobias A., 2017. "How does the public perceive alliances? The Central and Allied Powers in World War I," IBF Paper Series 12-17, IBF – Institut für Bank- und Finanzgeschichte / Institute for Banking and Financial History, Frankfurt am Main.
    12. Mitchener, Kris James & Oosterlinck, Kim & Weidenmier, Marc D. & Haber, Stephen, 2015. "Victory or repudiation? Predicting winners in civil wars using international financial markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 310-319.
    13. Foley-Fisher, Nathan & McLaughlin, Eoin, 2016. "Sovereign debt guarantees and default: Lessons from the UK and Ireland, 1920–1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 272-286.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-


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