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Missing Link; Volatility and the Debt Intolerance Paradox

  • Luis Catão
  • Sandeep Kapur

A striking feature of sovereign lending is that many countries with moderate debt-to-income ratios systematically face higher spreads and more stringent borrowing constraints than others with far higher debt ratios. Earlier research has rationalized the phenomenon in terms of sovereign reputation and countries' distinct credit histories. This paper provides theoretical and empirical evidence to show that differences in underlying macroeconomic volatility are key. While volatility increases the need for international borrowing to help smooth domestic consumption, the ability to borrow is constrained by the higher default risk that volatility engenders.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 04/51.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/51
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  1. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2002. "A Gravity Model of Sovereign Lending: Trade, Default and Credit," NBER Working Papers 9285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," NBER Working Papers 9908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth & Savastano, Miguel, 2003. "Debt intolerance," MPRA Paper 13932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Reinhart, Carmen, 2002. "Default, currency crises, and sovereign credit ratings," MPRA Paper 13917, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
  5. Sebastian Edwards, 1983. "LDC's Foreign Borrowing and Default Risk: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 1172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Reinhart, Carmen, 2002. "Sovereign Credit Ratings Before and After Financial Crises," MPRA Paper 7410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Ricardo J.Caballero, 2001. "Macroeconomic volatility in Latin America: a view and three case studies," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 28(1 Year 20), pages 5-52, June.
  8. M. Ayhan Kose & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Trade shocks and macroeconomic fluctuations in Africa," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 19, pages 369-394 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  9. Jeremy I. Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," NBER Working Papers 2623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rose, Andrew K., 2005. "One reason countries pay their debts: renegotiation and international trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 189-206, June.
  11. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Christopher Blattman & Jason Hwang & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "The Terms of Trade and Economic Growth in the Periphery 1870-1938," NBER Working Papers 9940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521338257 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Edwards, Sebastian, 1984. "LDC Foreign Borrowing and Default Risk: An Empirical Investigation, 1976-80," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 726-34, September.
  15. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  16. Barry J. Eichengreen & Richard Portes, 1985. "Debt and Default in the 1930s: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 1772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange Rates and Financial Fragility," NBER Working Papers 7418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Ernesto Talvi & Carlos A. Vegh, 2000. "Tax Base Variability and Procyclical Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E., 1977. "A study of debt servicing capacity applying logit analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 25-38, February.
  20. 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.
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