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Defaultable debt, interest rates and the current account

  • Mark Aguiar
  • Gita Gopinath
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    World capital markets have experienced large scale sovereign defaults on a number of occasions, the most recent being Argentina’s default in 2002. In this paper we develop a quantitative model of debt and default in a small open economy. We use this model to match four empirical regularities regarding emerging markets: defaults occur in equilibrium, interest rates are countercyclical, net exports are countercyclical, and interest rates and the current account are positively correlated. That is, emerging markets on average borrow more in good times and at lower interest rates as compared to slumps. Our ability to match these facts within the framework of an otherwise standard business cycle model with endogenous default relies on the importance of a stochastic trend in emerging markets.

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    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2004-31.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2004-31
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    1. Rose, Andrew K., 2005. "One reason countries pay their debts: renegotiation and international trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 189-206, June.
    2. Pablo A. Neumeyer & Fabrizio Perri, 2001. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies:The Role of Interest Rates," Working Papers 01-12, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    3. Bulow, J. & Rogoff, K., 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," Working papers 8813, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    4. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Olivier Jeanne, 2004. "The Elusive Gains From International Financial Integration," IMF Working Papers 04/74, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
    6. 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.
    7. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
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