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Maturity, indebtedness, and default risk

  • 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
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:09-2
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  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth & Savastano, Miguel, 2003. "Debt intolerance," MPRA Paper 13932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable debt, interest rates, and the current account," Working Papers 04-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  3. Fernando Broner & Guido Lorenzoni & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2003. "Why do emerging economies borrow short term?," Economics Working Papers 838, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 2011.
  4. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1998. "Self-fulfilling debt crises," Staff Report 211, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Cristina Arellano & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2008. "Default and the maturity structure in sovereign bonds," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 19, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  6. Hatchondo, Juan Carlos & Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 117-125, September.
  7. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2005. "Consumer Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start," Discussion Papers 04-011, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. 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.
  9. Gaston Gelos & Guido Sandleris & Ratna Sahay, 2004. "Sovereign Borrowing by Developing Countries; What Determines Market Access?," IMF Working Papers 04/221, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2010. "Quantitative properties of sovereign default models: solution methods," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(4), pages 919-933, October.
  11. 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.
  12. David Benjamin, 2008. "Recovery Before Redemption," 2008 Meeting Papers 531, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. 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.
  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.
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