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Borrowing iwth Unobserved Liquidity Constraints: Structural Estimation with an Application to Sovereign Debt

  • Jerome Adda
  • Jonathan Eaton

We develop a framework for estimating the optimal expenditure of agents subject to unobserved liquidity constraints. Our framework allows us to estimate credit ceilings as well as preference parameters. We apply the framework to data on net resource transfers from private lenders to twenty-nine sovereign debtors during 1973-1993. We obtain reasonable estimates of the discount factor, elasticity of marginal utility of expenditure, and the credit ceiling for most countries. Our estimated credit ceilings rise quite regularly with income across the countries of our sample, and are positively associated with a country's trade, in line with several theoretical arguments. Our estimates imply that slilghtly less than half the countries in our sample were liquidity constrained during the 1970s. The fraction rose to around 80 per cent in the mid 1980s, and subsequently declined.

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Paper provided by Boston University, Institute for Economic Development in its series Boston University - Institute for Economic Development with number 84.

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Date of creation: Mar 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fth:bosecd:84
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  1. Marcet, Albert & Marimon, Ramon, 1992. "Communication, commitment, and growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 219-249, December.
  2. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
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  11. Eaton, Jonathan & Fernandez, Raquel, 1995. "Sovereign debt," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 2031-2077 Elsevier.
  12. Deaton, A. & Laroque, G., 1989. "On The Behavior Of Commodity Prices," Papers 145, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
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