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Maturity, indebtedness, and default risk

Listed author(s):
  • Satyajit Chatterjee
  • Burcu Eyigungor

We present a novel and tractable model of long-term sovereign debt. We make two sets of contributions. First, on the substantive side, using Argentina as a test case we show that unlike one-period debt models, our model of long-term sovereign debt is capable of accounting for the average spread, the average default frequency, and the average debt-to-output ratio of Argentina over the 1991-2001 period without any deterioration in the model's ability to account for Argentina's cyclical facts. Using our calibrated model we determine what Argentina's debt, default frequency and welfare would have been if Argentina had issued only short-term debt. Second, on the methodological side, we advance the theory of sovereign debt begun in Eaton and Gersovitz (1981) by establishing the existence of an equilibrium pricing function for long-term sovereign debt and by providing a fairly complete set of characterization results regarding equilibrium default and borrowing behavior. In addition, we identify and solve a computational problem associated with pricing long-term unsecured debt that stems from nonconvexities introduced by the possibility of default.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 09-2.

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Date of creation: 2009
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:09-2
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  1. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2007. "A quantitative theory of unsecured consumer credit with risk of default," Working Papers 07-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable debt, interest rates, and the current account," Working Papers 04-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  3. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Working Paper 08-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  4. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2010. "Online Appendix to "Quantitative properties of sovereign default models: solution methods"," Technical Appendices 08-133, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," NBER Working Papers 9908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cuadra, Gabriel & Sapriza, Horacio, 2008. "Sovereign default, interest rates and political uncertainty in emerging markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 78-88, September.
  7. Fernando Broner & Guido Lorenzoni & Sergio Schmuckler, 2006. "Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?," 2006 Meeting Papers 841, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Ananth Ramanarayanan & Cristina Arellano, 2008. "Default and the Maturity Structure in Sovereign Bonds," 2008 Meeting Papers 479, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. David Benjamin, 2008. "Recovery Before Redemption," 2008 Meeting Papers 531, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1998. "Self-fulfilling debt crises," Staff Report 211, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. R. G Gelos & Guido M Sandleris & Ratna Sahay, 2004. "Sovereign Borrowing by Developing Countries; What Determines Market Access?," IMF Working Papers 04/221, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michèle Tertilt, 2007. "Consumer Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 402-418, March.
  13. Arellano, Cristina, 2008. "Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 7867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Athreya, Kartik B., 2002. "Welfare implications of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1999," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1567-1595, November.
  15. 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.
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