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Sovereign Default, Interest Rates and Political Uncertainty in Emerging Markets

  • Gabriel Cuadra
  • Horacio Sapriza

Emerging economies tend to experience larger political uncertainty and more default episodes than developed countries. This paper studies the effect of political uncertainty on sovereign default and interest rate spreads in emerging markets. The paper develops a quantitative model of sovereign debt and default under political uncertainty in a small open economy. Consistent with empirical evidence, the quantitative analysis shows that higher levels of political uncertainty significantly raise the default frequency and both the level and volatility of the spreads. When parties borrow from international credit markets, the presence of political uncertainty induces a short-sight behavior in politicians.

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Paper provided by Banco de México in its series Working Papers with number 2006-02.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2006-02
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  9. Emanuel Kohlscheen, 2007. "Why Are There Serial Defaulters? Evidence from Constitutions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 713-730.
  10. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable Debt, Interest Rates and the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 10731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
  12. Yue, Vivian Z., 2010. "Sovereign default and debt renegotiation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 176-187, March.
  13. Bulow, J. & Rogoff, K., 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," Papers 411, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  14. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2003. "Consumption--Savings Decisions with Quasi--Geometric Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 365-375, January.
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  16. Rose, Andrew K, 2002. "One Reason Countries Pay Their Debts: Renegotiation and International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Brewer, Thomas L & Rivoli, Pietra, 1990. "Politics and Perceived Country Creditworthiness in International Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(3), pages 357-69, August.
  18. Emanuel Kohlscheen, 2006. "Why are there serial defaulters? Quasi-experimental evidence from Constitutions," WEF Working Papers 0003, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  19. Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "The dynamics of government," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1331-1358, October.
  20. Cristina Arellano & Enrique Mendoza, 2002. "Credit Frictions and 'Sudden Stops' in Small Open Economies: An Equilibrium Business Cycle Framework for Emerging Markets Crises," Research Department Publications 4307, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  21. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
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  23. Uribe, Martin & Yue, Vivian Z., 2006. "Country spreads and emerging countries: Who drives whom?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 6-36, June.
  24. Sule Ozler & Guido Tabellini, 1991. "External Debt and Political Instability," NBER Working Papers 3772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Emerging market business cycles: the cycle is the trend," Working Papers 04-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  26. Citron, Joel-Tomas & Nickelsburg, Gerald, 1987. "Country risk and political instability," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 385-392, April.
  27. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder di Mauro, Beatrice, 2004. "The Politics Of Debt Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 4683, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Alfaro, Laura & Kanczuk, Fabio, 2005. "Sovereign debt as a contingent claim: a quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 297-314, March.
  29. Cristina Arellano, 2005. "Default Risk, the Real Exchange Rate and Income Fluctuations in Emerging Economies," 2005 Meeting Papers 516, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  30. Enrique G. Mendoza & P. Marcelo Oviedo, 2006. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Uncertainty in Developing Countries: The Tale of the Tormented Insurer," NBER Working Papers 12586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Marcel Peter, 2002. "Estimating Default Probabilities of Emerging Market Sovereigns: A New Look at a Not-So-New Literature," IHEID Working Papers 06-2002, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
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