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The contractual approach to sovereign debt restructuring

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  • Lanau, Sergi

    () (International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

The contractual approach proposes the introduction of clauses in sovereign debt contracts to address a number of inefficiencies in sovereign debt markets. Two of its central innovations are collective action clauses and seniority clauses. This paper analyses these two clauses when: (1) repayment is endogenous and depends on creditor lobbying effort; (2) litigation for full repayment does not increase the payment to be extracted from the creditor. There is a positive externality of effort that strongly interacts with asset distribution and contractual clauses. Individual litigation is not desirable from the creditors’ point of view since it weakens the incentives to exert effort. Collective action clauses block litigation and maximise repayment, especially when creditors are heterogeneous in the amount of debt they hold. The adoption of seniority clauses modifies the incentives to exert effort and thus repayment. This effect can be positive or negative. If average portfolio sizes are similar but the marginal loan being repaid is unevenly distributed among creditors, repayment falls. Since effort decisions are influenced by asset distribution, the paper also identifies and analyses a novel role for secondary markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Lanau, Sergi, 2011. "The contractual approach to sovereign debt restructuring," Bank of England working papers 409, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0409
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    File URL: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/working-paper/2011/the-contractural-approach-to-sovereign-debt-restructuring.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fernando Broner & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2010. "Sovereign Risk and Secondary Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1523-1555, September.
    2. Richards, Anthony & Gugiatti, Mark, 2003. "Do Collective Action Clauses Influence Bond Yields? New Evidence from Emerging Markets," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 415-447, Winter.
    3. Becker, Torbjorn & Richards, Anthony & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2003. "Bond restructuring and moral hazard: are collective action clauses costly?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 127-161, October.
    4. Eduardo Borensztein & Olivier D Jeanne & Paolo Mauro & Jeronimo Zettelmeyer & Marcos Chamon, 2005. "Sovereign Debt Structure for Crisis Prevention," IMF Occasional Papers 237, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando Broner & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2010. "Sovereign Risk and Secondary Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1523-1555, September.
    2. Ran Bi & Marcos Chamon & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2016. "The Problem that Wasn’t: Coordination Failures in Sovereign Debt Restructurings," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(3), pages 471-501, August.
    3. Broner, Fernando & Erce, Aitor & Martin, Alberto & Ventura, Jaume, 2014. "Sovereign debt markets in turbulent times: Creditor discrimination and crowding-out effects," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 114-142.
    4. Julian Schumacher & Christoph Trebesch & Henrik Enderlein, 2015. "What Explains Sovereign Debt Litigation?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5319, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Fernando Broner & Aitor Erce & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2013. "Sovereign Debt Markets in Turbulent Times; Creditor Discrimination and Crowding-Out," IMF Working Papers 13/270, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Schumacher, Julian & Chamon, Marcos & Trebesch, Christoph, 2015. "Foreign Law Bonds: Can They Reduce Sovereign Borrowing Costs?," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113199, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Julian Schumacher, Christoph Trebesch, Henrik Enderlein, . "What Explains Sovereign Debt Litigation?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(3).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sovereign debt; collective action clauses; seniority clauses; secondary markets;

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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