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Sovereign Debt and Consumption Smoothing

This paper shows that whether or not a sovereign can borrow to smooth consump- tion depends both on how consumption smoothing is achieved, whether by contingent debt issuance or by contingent debt servicing, and on the penalty for debt repudiation. If a sovereign that repudiated its debt could not borrow again, but could continue to save and to dissave, then contingent debt issuance, without contingent debt servicing, cannot support a positive amount of uncollateralized sovereign debt. But, with this same penalty for repu- diation, contingent debt servicing supports a positive amount of uncollateralized sovereign debt.

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Paper provided by Brown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 97-6.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:97-6
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Working Papers 1894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Herschel I. Grossman & John B. Van Huyck, 1985. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 1673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Chari V. V. & Kehoe Patrick J., 1993. "Sustainable Plans and Debt," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 230-261, December.
  4. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
  5. Eaton, Jonathan, 1992. "Sovereign debt : a primer," Policy Research Working Paper Series 855, The World Bank.
  6. Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Debt with potential repudiation," Discussion Papers, Series II 69, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
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