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Debt dilution and seniority in a model of defaultable sovereign debt

  • Satyajit Chatterjee
  • Burcu Eyigungor

An important ineffciency in sovereign debt markets is debt dilution, wherein sovereigns ignore the adverse impact of new debt on the value of existing debt and, consequently, borrow too much and default too frequently. A widely proposed remedy is the inclusion of seniority clause in sovereign debt contracts: Creditors who lent first have priority in any restructuring proceedings. We incorporate seniority in a quantitatively realistic model of sovereign debt and find that seniority is quite effective in mitigating the dilution problem. We also show theoretically that seniority cannot be fully effective unless the costs of debt restructuring are zero.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 13-30.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:13-30
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  1. Michael P. Dooley, 2000. "Can Output Losses Following International Financial Crises be Avoided?," NBER Working Papers 7531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eduardo Borensztein & Olivier Jeanne & Paolo Mauro & Jeronimo Zettelmeyer & Marcos Chamon, 2005. "Sovereign Debt Structure for Crisis Prevention," IMF Occasional Papers 237, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Satyajit Chatterjee & Burcu Eyigungor, 2011. "Maturity, indebtedness, and default risk," Working Papers 11-33, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Leonardo Martinez & Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Cesar Sosa Padilla, 2011. "Debt Dilution and Sovereign Default Risk," IMF Working Papers 11/70, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Cole, Harold L. & Kehoe, Timothy J., 1996. "A self-fulfilling model of Mexico's 1994-1995 debt crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 309-330, November.
  6. Diego Saravia, 2007. "On the Role and Effects of IMF Seniority," Documentos de Trabajo 317, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  7. 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.
  8. Hatchondo, Juan Carlos & Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 117-125, September.
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