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Credibility for Sale

  • Harris Dellas
  • Dirk Niepelt

We develop a sovereign debt model with official and private creditors where default risk depends on both the level and the composition of liabilities. Higher exposure to official lenders improves incentives to repay but carries extra costs, such as reduced ex-post flexibility. The model implies that official lending to sovereigns takes place in times of debt distress; carries a favorable rate; and can displace private funding even under pari passu provisions. Moreover, in the presence of long-term debt overhang, the availability of official funds increases the probability of default on existing debt, although default does not trigger exclusion from private credit markets. These findings help shed light on joint default and debt composition choices of the type observed during the recent sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-07/cesifo1_wp4335.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4335.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4335
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  1. Broner, Fernando A & Martin, Alberto & Ventura, Jaume, 2007. "Sovereign Risk and Secondary Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 6055, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable Debt, Interest Rates and the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 10731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, 08.
  4. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1998. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Levine's Working Paper Archive 114, David K. Levine.
  5. Egil Matsen & Ragnar Torvik & Tommy Sveen, 2004. "Savers, Spenders and Fiscal Policy in a Small Open Economy," Working Paper Series 4704, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1999. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1888, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Boz, Emine, 2011. "Sovereign default, private sector creditors, and the IFIs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 70-82, January.
  8. 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.
  9. Michael Tomz & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Do Countries Default in "Bad Times" ?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 352-360, 04-05.
  10. Niepelt, Dirk, 2008. "Debt Maturity without Commitment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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