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Partial Default

Author

Listed:
  • Jose-Victor Rios-Rull
  • Xavier Mateos-Planas
  • Cristina Arellano

Abstract

In the data sovereign default is always partial and varies in its duration. Debt levels during default episodes initially increase and do not experience reductions upon resolution. This paper presents a theory of sovereign default that replicates these properties, which are absent in standard sovereign default theory. Partial default is a flexible way to raise funds as the sovereign chooses its intensity and duration. Partial default is also costly because it amplifies debt crises as the defaulted debt accumulates and interest rate spreads increase. This theory is capable of rationalizing the large heterogeneity in partial default, its comovements with spreads, debt levels, and output, and the dynamics of debt during default episodes. In our theory, as in the data, debt grows during default episodes, and large defaults are longer, and associated with higher interest rate spreads, higher debt levels, and deeper recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Xavier Mateos-Planas & Cristina Arellano, 2019. "Partial Default," Staff Report 589, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:589
    DOI: 10.21034/sr.589
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    File URL: https://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/sr/sr589.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Xavier Mateos-Planas & Giulio Seccia, 2014. "Consumer default with complete markets: default-based pricing and finite punishment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 56(3), pages 549-583, August.
    2. Andrew Clausen & Carlo Strub, 2012. "Envelope theorems for non-smooth and non-concave optimization," ECON - Working Papers 062, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 215-268, November.
    4. Aitor Erce, 2012. "Selective sovereign defaults," Globalization Institute Working Papers 127, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, revised 2012.
    5. David Benjamin & Mark L. J. Wright, 2009. "Recovery Before Redemption: A Theory Of Delays In Sovereign Debt Renegotiations," CAMA Working Papers 2009-15, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters, in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press.
    7. Xavier Mateos-Planas, 2011. "Consumer default with complete markets," 2011 Meeting Papers 954, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-178, February.
    9. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2007. "A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1525-1589, November.
    10. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
    11. Grey Gordon & Pablo Guerron-Quintana, 2019. "A Quantitative Theory of Hard and Soft Sovereign Defaults," 2019 Meeting Papers 412, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. David Benjamin, 2008. "Recovery Before Redemption," 2008 Meeting Papers 531, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Clausen, Andrew & Strub, Carlo, 2013. "A General and Intuitive Envelope Theorem," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-43, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    14. Gabriel Mihalache, 2017. "Sovereign Default Resolution Through Maturity Extension," Department of Economics Working Papers 17-08, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gong Cheng & Javier Diaz-Cassou & Aitor Erce, 2019. "The macroeconomic effects of official debt restructuring: evidence from the Paris Club," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 344-363.
    2. Aguiar, M. & Chatterjee, S. & Cole, H. & Stangebye, Z., 2016. "Quantitative Models of Sovereign Debt Crises," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1697-1755, Elsevier.
    3. Lorenzo Esposito & Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2019. "Defaultnomics: Making Sense of the Barro-Ricardo Equivalence in a Financialized World," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_933, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. Tamon Asonuma & Christoph Trebesch, 2016. "Sovereign Debt Restructurings: Preemptive Or Post-Default," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 175-214, February.
    5. Kieran Walsh, 2014. "Portfolio Choice and Partial Default in Emerging Markets: a quantitative analysis," 2014 Meeting Papers 789, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Péter Benczúr & Cosmin L. Ilut, 2016. "Evidence for Relational Contracts in Sovereign Bank Lending," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 375-404.
    7. Mark Wright, 2018. "The Seniority Structure of Sovereign Debt," 2018 Meeting Papers 928, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Xavier Mateos-Planas & Giulio Seccia, 2014. "Consumer default with complete markets: default-based pricing and finite punishment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 56(3), pages 549-583, August.
    9. Trebesch, Christoph & Zabel, Michael, 2017. "The output costs of hard and soft sovereign default," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 416-432.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emerging markets; Default episodes; Debt restructuring; Debt crises; Sovereign risk;

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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