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Debt Moratorium: Theory and Evidence

Author

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  • Yasin Kür¸sat Önder
  • Mauricio Villamizar-Villegas
  • Jose Villegas

Abstract

Our study analyzes the impact of debt moratorium policies, possibly the oldest approach to addressing repayment problems. Using Colombian administrative data, we compare firms that narrowly met the criteria for moratoria (eligible firms could not exceed 60 days overdue on their loans) with those that just missed it. Our findings reveal that stressed firms accessing moratoria experience more favorable loan conditions on subsequent borrowing, characterized by higher loan amounts and lower interest rates. This credit relief, in turn, contribute to substantial increases in firm investment and employment. To delve deeper into the implications, we employ a quantitative general equilibrium model of default to assess both short- and long-term effects. While these policies effectively mitigate liquidity concerns, they concurrently elevate default risks. Notably, our research underscores larger welfare gains when debt moratorium policies incorporate interest forgiveness during periods of debt standstill by reducing default risk. **** RESUMEN: Este estudio analiza el impacto de las políticas de moratoria de deuda, también conocidas como prórrogas o periodos de gracia, y que son posiblemente el enfoque más antiguo para abordar problemas de pago. Utilizando datos administrativos de Colombia, comparamos empresas que cumplieron estrechamente con los criterios para el programa con aquellas que por poco no lo hicieron. Nuestros hallazgos revelan que las empresas estresadas (es decir, con morosidad) que acceden al programa experimentan condiciones más favorables en préstamos posteriores, caracterizadas por montos más altos y tasas de interés más bajas. Este alivio crediticio, a su vez, contribuye a aumentos en la inversión y el empleo. Para profundizar en las implicaciones, empleamos un modelo cuantitativo de equilibrio general para evaluar los efectos a corto y largo plazo. Encontramos que, si bien estas políticas mitigan riesgos de liquidez, también aumentan la probabilidad de incumplimiento. Destacamos mayores ganancias en bienestar cuando las políticas de moratoria incorporan la condonación de intereses durante los períodos de suspensión de la deuda.

Suggested Citation

  • Yasin Kür¸sat Önder & Mauricio Villamizar-Villegas & Jose Villegas, 2023. "Debt Moratorium: Theory and Evidence," Borradores de Economia 1253, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:1253
    DOI: 10.32468/be.1253
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Camilo Gómez & Daniela Rodríguez-Novoa, 2024. "Firm Support Measures, Credit Payment Behavior, and Credit Risk," IHEID Working Papers 03-2024, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    2. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Yasin Kürsat Önder & Francisco Roch, 2022. "Sovereign Cocos," Working Papers 139, Red Nacional de Investigadores en Economía (RedNIE).
      • Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Mr. Leonardo Martinez & Kursat Onder & Mr. Francisco Roch, 2022. "Sovereign Cocos," IMF Working Papers 2022/078, International Monetary Fund.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt moratorium; debt management; regression discontinuity design; Moratoria de deuda; riesgo crediticio; regresión discontinua;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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