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Quid pro Quo: National Institutions and Sudden Stops in International Capital Movements


  • Eduardo A. Cavallo


  • Andrés Velasco


The paper explores the incidence of sudden stops in capital flows on the incentives for building national institutions that secure property rights in a world where sovereign defaults are possible equilibrium outcomes. Also thepaper builds upon the benchmark model of sovereign default and direct creditor sanctions by Obstfeld and Rogoff (1996). In their model it is in the debtor country’s interest to “tie its hands” and secure the property rights of lenders as much as possible because this enhances the credibility of the country’s romise to repay and prevents default altogether. It incorporate two key features of today’s international financial markets that are absent from the benchmark model: the possibility that lenders can trigger sudden stops in capital movements, and debt contracts in which lenders transfer resources to the country at the start of the period, which have to be repaid later. The papershows that under these conditions the advice “build institutions to secure repayment at all costs” may be very bad advice indeed.

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  • Eduardo A. Cavallo & Andrés Velasco, 2006. "Quid pro Quo: National Institutions and Sudden Stops in International Capital Movements," Research Department Publications 4490, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4490

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1998. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 587-597, June.
    2. Eduardo A. Cavallo, 2005. "Trade, gravity, and sudden stops: on how commercial trade can increase the stability of capital flows," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2005-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    3. Brian D. Wright & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 2000. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 621-639, June.
    4. repec:mes:challe:v:33:y:1990:i:4:p:57-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cavallo, Eduardo A. & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2008. "Does openness to trade make countries more vulnerable to sudden stops, or less? Using gravity to establish causality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1430-1452, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Financial Openness, Sudden Stops, and Current-Account Reversals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 59-64, May.
    8. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis-Fernando Mejía, 2004. "On the empirics of Sudden Stops: the relevance of balance-sheet effects," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    9. Rudger Dornbusch & Ilan Goldfajn & Rodrigo O. Valdés, 1995. "Currency Crises and Collapses," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 219-294.
    10. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 1, pages 35-54, November.
    11. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi, 2002. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate and Fiscal Sustainability: Argentina's Lessons," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1909, Inter-American Development Bank.
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