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Sovereign Debt in the Americas: New Data and Stylized Facts

  • Kevin Cowan
  • Eduardo Levy-Yeyati
  • Ugo Panizza
  • Federico Sturzenegger

In this paper, we introduce the first comprehensive database on sovereign debt systematically compiled to ensure comparability, for all countries in the Americas, and use this new data to highlight the main stylized facts regarding sovereign debt for developing America in the last two decades. We find that debt ratios in developing America are comparable to those in developed countries and have remained stable since the late nineties. By contrast, the composition of debt in the region has changed significantly, shifting from foreign currency external to local currency domestic debt. This “onshoring” and “ dedollarization” of sovereign debt, contrary to conventional wisdom, has not come at the expense of a shortening of maturities. Furthermore, we find that “onshoring” is correlated with the level economic development and country size, and with the presence of institutional investors.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 371.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:371
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  1. Sturzenegger, Federico & Zettelmeyer, Jeromin, 2008. "Haircuts: Estimating investor losses in sovereign debt restructurings, 1998-2005," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 780-805, September.
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  3. Dany Jaimovich & Ugo Panizza, 2010. "Public debt around the world: a new data set of central government debt," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 19-24, January.
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  18. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2004. "Dollars, Debt and the IFIs: Dedollarizing Multilateral Lending," Business School Working Papers dedollmultlending, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  19. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher Meissner & Angela Redish, 2003. "How "Original Sin" was Overcome: The Evolution of External Debt Denominated in Domestic Currencies in the United States and the British Dominions," NBER Working Papers 9841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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