Why are there serial defaulters? Quasi-experimental evidence from Constitutions
Presidential democracies were 4.9 times more likely to default on external debts between 1976 and 2000 than parliamentary democracies. This paper argues that the explanation to the pattern of serial defaults among a number of sovereign borrowers lies in their constitutions (on serial defaults see Reinhart, Rogoff and Savastano (2003) and Reinhart and Rogoff (2004)). Ceteris paribus, parliamentary democracies are less likely to default on their liabilities as the confidence requirement creates a credible link between economic policies and the political survival of the executive. This link tends to strengthen the repayment commitment when politicians are opportunistic. I show that this effect is large and statistically significant in the contemporary world even when comparison is restricted to countries that are twins in terms of colonial origin, geography and economic variables. Moreover, the result persists if Latin American and/or OECD democracies are excluded from the sample. Since the form of government of a country is typically chosen at the time of independence and highly persistent over time, constitutions can explain why debt policies in developing countries are related to individual histories.
|Length:||23 pages JEL Classification:|
|Date of creation:||Jun 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +45 6550 2233
Fax: +45 6550 1090
Web page: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003.
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,
Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
- North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004.
"Do Institutions Cause Growth?,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Do constitutions cause large governments? Quasi-experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 908-918, May.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999.
"Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter H. Lindert & Peter J. Morton, 1989.
"How Sovereign Debt Has Worked,"
in: Developing Country Debt and the World Economy, pages 225-236
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004.
"Serial Default and the "Paradox" of Rich-to-Poor Capital Flows,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 53-58, May.
- Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "Serial default and the “paradox” of rich to poor capital flows," MPRA Paper 13997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2004. "Serial Default and the â€œParadoxâ€ of Rich-to-Poor Capital Flows," Scholarly Articles 11129182, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "Serial Default and the "Paradox" of Rich to Poor Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 10296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, June.
- Enrica Detragiache & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2001. "Crises and Liquidity; Evidence and Interpretation," IMF Working Papers 01/2, International Monetary Fund.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c011_010. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jan Pedersen)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.