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Credibility For Sale

  • Dellas, Harris
  • Niepelt, Dirk

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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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9562.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9562
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  1. Fernando Broner & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2006. "Sovereign risk and secondary markets," Economics Working Papers 998, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2009.
  2. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1998. "Self-fulfilling debt crises," Staff Report 211, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Bagnoli, M. & Bergstrom, T., 1989. "Log-Concave Probability And Its Applications," Papers 89-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  4. Michael Tomz & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Do Countries Default In "Bad Times"?," CAMA Working Papers 2007-23, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  5. 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.
  6. Matsen Egil & Sveen Tommy & Torvik Ragnar, 2007. "Savers, Spenders and Fiscal Policy in a Small Open Economy," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-35, August.
  7. Niepelt, Dirk, 2008. "Debt Maturity without Commitment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable debt, interest rates and the current account," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  9. Patrick Bolton & Olivier Jeanne, 2011. "Sovereign Default Risk and Bank Fragility in Financially Integrated Economies," NBER Working Papers 16899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Boz, Emine, 2011. "Sovereign default, private sector creditors, and the IFIs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 70-82, January.
  11. Tirole, Jean, 2012. "Country Solidarity, Private Sector Involvement and the Contagion of Sovereign Crises," IDEI Working Papers 761, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Sep 2012.
  12. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
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