IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Fiscal rules and the sovereign default premium

  • Juan Carlos Hatchondo
  • Leonardo Martinez
  • Francisco Roch

We find the optimal target values for fiscal rules and measure their aggregate effects using a model of sovereign default. We calibrate the model to an economy that pays a significant sovereign default premium when the government is not constrained by fiscal rules. For different levels of the default premium, we find that a government with a debt of 38 percent of trend income (typical in the case studied here) chooses to commit to a debt ceiling of 30 percent of trend income that starts being enforced four years after its announcement. This rule generates expectations of lower future indebtedness, and thus it allows the government to borrow at interest rates significantly lower than the ones it pays without a rule. We also study the case in which the government conducts a voluntary debt restructuring to capture the capital gains from the increase in its debt market value implied by the existence of a fiscal rule. In this case, the government is found to choose instead a debt ceiling of 25 percent of trend income that starts being enforced less than two years after its announcement. After the imposition of the debt ceiling, lower debt levels allow the government to implement a less procyclical fiscal policy that reduces consumption volatility. However, the government prefers a procyclical debt ceiling that implies a larger reduction of the default probability at the expense of a higher consumption volatility.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 12-01.

in new window

Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:12-01
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Beetsma, Roel & Ribeiro, Marcos Poplawski & Schabert, Andreas, 2008. "A Comparison of Debt and Primary-deficit Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 6897, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bianchi, Javier & Hatchondo, Juan Carlos & Martinez, Leonardo, 2013. "International reserves and rollover risk," Working Paper 13-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, revised 01 Jun 2013.
  3. Ceyhun Bora Durdu, 2007. "Quantitative implications of indexed bonds in small open economies," International Finance Discussion Papers 909, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Gabriel Cuadra & Juan Sanchez & Horacio Sapriza, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Default Risk in Emerging Markets," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 452-469, April.
  5. Burcu Eyigungor & Satyajit Chatterjee, 2008. "Maturity, Indebtedness and Default Risk," 2008 Meeting Papers 1001, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Vivian Z. Yue, 2005. "Sovereign Default and Debt Renegotiation," 2005 Meeting Papers 138, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2007. "Quantitative models of sovereign default and the threat of financial exclusion," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 251-286.
  8. Marco Battaglini, 2009. "On the Case for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," 2009 Meeting Papers 131, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Evan Tanner & Issouf Samake, 2008. "Probabilistic Sustainability of Public Debt: A Vector Autoregression Approach for Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(1), pages 149-182, April.
  10. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2003. "Consumer bankruptcy: a fresh start," Working Papers 617, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Marina Azzimonti, 2009. "Barriers to investment in polarized societies," 2009 Meeting Papers 1233, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Atish R. Ghosh & Jun I. Kim & Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan D. Ostry & Mahvash S. Qureshi, 2011. "Fiscal Fatigue, Fiscal Space and Debt Sustainability in Advanced Economies," NBER Working Papers 16782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Anna Iara & Guntram B. Wolff, 2011. "Rules and risk in the euro area," Working Papers 615, Bruegel.
  14. Lizarazo, Sandra, 2010. "Default Risk and Risk Averse International Investors," MPRA Paper 20794, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Cristina Arellano & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2008. "Default and the maturity structure in sovereign bonds," Staff Report 410, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Martín González Rozada & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "Global Factors and Emerging Market Spreads," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6703, Inter-American Development Bank.
  19. 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.
  20. Feld, Lars P. & Kalb, Alexander & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel & Osterloh, Steffen, 2013. "Sovereign bond market reactions to fiscal rules and no-bailout clauses: The Swiss experience," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-034, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  21. Boz, Emine & Daude, Christian & Bora Durdu, C., 2011. "Emerging market business cycles: Learning about the trend," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 616-631.
  22. Guido Lorenzoni & Ivan Werning, 2013. "Slow Moving Debt Crises," NBER Working Papers 19228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Reinhart, Vincent & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2015. "Dealing with Debt," Working Paper Series rwp15-009, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  24. Michael Tomz & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Do countries default in “bad times”?," Working Paper Series 2007-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  25. David Benjamin, 2008. "Recovery Before Redemption," 2008 Meeting Papers 531, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  26. Neumeyer, Pablo Andrés & Perri, Fabrizio, 2004. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: The Role of Interest Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 4482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Jorge Restrepo & Carlos Garcia & Evan Tanner, 2011. "Fiscal Rules in a Volatile World: A Welfare-Based Approach," IMF Working Papers 11/56, International Monetary Fund.
  28. repec:aea:aejpol:v:7:y:2015:i:3:p:327-70 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Hatchondo, Juan Carlos & Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 117-125, September.
  30. David K. Backus & Silverio Foresi & Chris Telmer, . "Discrete time models of bond pricing," GSIA Working Papers 251, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  31. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable Debt, Interest Rates and the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 10731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. International Monetary Fund, 2011. "Business Cycles in Emerging Markets: The Role of Durable Goods and Financial Frictions," IMF Working Papers 11/133, International Monetary Fund.
  33. James M. Poterba & Kim S. Rueben, 1997. "State Fiscal Institutions and the U.S. Municipal Bond Market," NBER Working Papers 6237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Nina Budina & Andrea Schaechter & Anke Weber & Tidiane Kinda, 2012. "Fiscal Rules in Response to the Crisis: Toward the "Next-Generation" Rules: A New Dataset," IMF Working Papers 12/187, International Monetary Fund.
  35. 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.
  36. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Cesar Sosa-Padilla, 2014. "Debt Dilution and Sovereign Default Risk," Department of Economics Working Papers 2014-06, McMaster University.
  37. Fernando A. Broner & Guido Lorenzoni & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2007. "Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?," NBER Working Papers 13076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Ethan Ilzetzki & Carlos A. Vegh, 2008. "Procyclical Fiscal Policy in Developing Countries: Truth or Fiction?," NBER Working Papers 14191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Lizarazo, Sandra, 2009. "Contagion of Financial Crises in Sovereign Debt Markets," MPRA Paper 20795, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 Feb 2010.
  40. Xavier Debrun & Laurent Moulin & Alessandro Turrini & Joaquim Ayuso-i-Casals & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2008. "Tied to the mast? National fiscal rules in the European Union," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 297-362, 04.
  41. Laura Alfaro & Fabio Kanczuk, 2007. "Optimal Reserve Management and Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 13216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Pappa, Evi & Vassilatos, Vanghelis, 2007. "The unbearable tightness of being in a monetary union: Fiscal restrictions and regional stability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1492-1513, August.
  43. Nina Budina & Tidiane Kinda & Andrea Schaechter & Anke Weber, 2012. "Fiscal Rules at a Glance: Country Details from a New Dataset," IMF Working Papers 12/273, International Monetary Fund.
  44. Juan Pablo Medina & Claudio Soto, 2007. "Copper Price, Fiscal Policu and Business Cycle in Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 458, Central Bank of Chile.
  45. Cristina Arellano, 2008. "Default Risk and Income Fluctuations in Emerging Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 690-712, June.
  46. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Emerging market business cycles: the cycle is the trend," Working Papers 04-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  47. 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.
  48. Gaston Gelos & Guido Sandleris & Ratna Sahay, 2004. "Sovereign Borrowing by Developing Countries: What Determines Market Access?," IMF Working Papers 04/221, International Monetary Fund.
  49. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez, 2013. "Sudden Stops, Time Inconsistency, and the Duration of Sovereign Debt," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(2), pages 217-228, June.
  50. Emine Boz, 2009. "Sovereign Default, Private Sector Creditors and the IFIs," IMF Working Papers 09/46, International Monetary Fund.
  51. Emine Boz & Christian Daude & C. Bora Durdu, 2011. "Emerging Market Business Cycles Revisited: Learning about the Trend," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1110, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  52. Horacio Sapriza & Filippo Taddei & Guido Sandleris, 2008. "Indexed Sovereign Debt: An Applied Framework," 2008 Meeting Papers 1064, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  53. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2008. "Heterogeneous borrowers in quantitative models of sovereign default," Working Paper 07-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  54. Olivier Blanchard & Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Paolo Mauro, 2010. "Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(s1), pages 199-215, 09.
  55. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
  56. Alfaro, Laura & Kanczuk, Fabio, 2005. "Sovereign debt as a contingent claim: a quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 297-314, March.
  57. Huixin Bi & Eric M. Leeper, 2013. "Analyzing Fiscal Sustainability," Staff Working Papers 13-27, Bank of Canada.
  58. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Policy in the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  59. Adrien Verdelhan & Nicola Borri, 2010. "Sovereign Risk Premia," 2010 Meeting Papers 1122, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  60. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Cesar Sosa Padilla, 2013. "Voluntary Sovereign Debt Exchanges," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-13, McMaster University.
  61. Huixin Bi, 2011. "Sovereign Default Risk Premia, Fiscal Limits and Fiscal Policy," Staff Working Papers 11-10, Bank of Canada.
  62. Beetsma, Roel & Uhlig, Harald, 1999. "An Analysis of the Stability and Growth Pact," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 546-71, October.
  63. Ricardo Nunes & Horacio Sapriza & Bora Durdu, 2011. "News and sovereign default risk in small open economies," 2011 Meeting Papers 1355, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  64. Osterloh, Steffen & Heinemann, Friedrich & Kalb, Alexander, 2013. "Sovereign risk premia: The link between fiscal rules and stability culture," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80043, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  65. Beetsma, Roel M.W.J. & Debrun, Xavier, 2007. "The new stability and growth pact: A first assessment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 453-477, February.
  66. Robert C. Lowry, 2001. "A Visible Hand? Bond Markets, Political Parties, Balanced Budget Laws, and State Government Debt," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 49-72, 03.
  67. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2010. "Quantitative properties of sovereign default models: solution methods matter," Working Paper 10-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  68. Ignacio Presno & Demian Pouzo, 2014. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Default under Incomplete Markets," 2014 Meeting Papers 689, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  69. Carlos A. Vegh & Guillermo Vuletin, 2012. "How is Tax Policy Conducted over the Business Cycle?," NBER Working Papers 17753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  70. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  71. 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.
  72. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," Scholarly Articles 11988098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:12-01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (William Perkins)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.