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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Boston University - Institute for Economic Development
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