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Sovereign default and macroeconomic tipping points

  • Joy, Mark

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

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This paper examines the impact of macroeconomic fundamentals on the probability of sovereign default and the probability of exit from default while allowing explicitly for model uncertainty. Model uncertainty is addressed by employing Bayesian model-averaging techniques, averaging over a very large number of different empirical models that each endeavour to explain entry to and exit from periods of sovereign default for defaulting countries over the period 1975 to 2010. Default probabilities are estimated and then used to price sovereign bond spreads. Key findings are: (i) large budget deficits and high interest payments on external debt represent key macroeconomic tipping points for sovereign default; (ii) for exiting periods of default, reducing public debt matters most. These results are robust to both narrow and wide definitions of sovereign default and, due to use of model-averaging techniques, robust to model uncertainty.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Ireland in its series Research Technical Papers with number 10/RT/12.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cbi:wpaper:10/rt/12
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  1. Juan J. Cruces & Christoph Trebesch, 2011. "Sovereign Defaults: The Price of Haircuts," CESifo Working Paper Series 3604, CESifo Group Munich.
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  5. Bennett Sutton & Luis Catão, 2002. "Sovereign Defaults: The Role of Volatility," IMF Working Papers 02/149, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Christoph Trebesch & Michael G Papaioannou & Udaibir S. Das, 2012. "Sovereign Debt Restructurings 1950-2010: Literature Survey, Data, and Stylized Facts," IMF Working Papers 12/203, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark Steel, 1999. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Econometrics 9903003, EconWPA, revised 06 Oct 2001.
  8. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Francisco Roch, 2012. "Fiscal rules and the sovereign default premium," Working Paper 12-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  9. Jens Hilscher & Yves Nosbusch, 2010. "Determinants of Sovereign Risk: Macroeconomic Fundamentals and the Pricing of Sovereign Debt," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 14(2), pages 235-262.
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  23. Shumway, Tyler, 2001. "Forecasting Bankruptcy More Accurately: A Simple Hazard Model," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 101-24, January.
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