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Missing Link; Volatility and the Debt Intolerance Paradox

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  • Luis Catão
  • Sandeep Kapur

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Catão & Sandeep Kapur, 2004. "Missing Link; Volatility and the Debt Intolerance Paradox," IMF Working Papers 04/51, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/51
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    Cited by:

    1. Kose, M. Ayhan & Prasad, Eswar S. & Terrones, Marco E., 2006. "How do trade and financial integration affect the relationship between growth and volatility?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 176-202, June.
    2. Samuel W. Malone, 2011. "Sovereign indebtedness, default, and gambling for redemption," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 331-354, April.
    3. Philippe D Karam & Douglas Hostland, 2005. "Assessing Debt Sustainability in Emerging Market Economies Using Stochastic Simulation Methods," IMF Working Papers 05/226, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Samuel Malone, 2005. "Managing Default Risk for Commodity Dependent Countries: Price Hedging in an Optimizing Model," Economics Series Working Papers 246, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. David S. Jacks & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2011. "Commodity Price Volatility and World Market Integration since 1700," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 800-813, August.
    6. Erdem Basci & M. Fatih Ekinci & Murat Yulek, 2007. "On Fixed and Variable Fiscal Surplus Rules," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 5-15, June.
    7. Jean-Marc Fournier & Manuel Bétin, 2018. "Sovereign defaults: Evidence on the importance of government effectiveness," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1494, OECD Publishing.
    8. Bernardin Akitoby & Thomas Stratmann, 2008. "Fiscal Policy and Financial Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(533), pages 1971-1985, November.
    9. Akyüz, Yilmaz., 2008. "Global rules and markets : constraints over policy autonomy in developing countries," ILO Working Papers 994204053402676, International Labour Organization.
    10. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2007. "The economics of sovereign defaults," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 163-187.
    11. Jens Hilscher & Yves Nosbusch, 2010. "Determinants of Sovereign Risk: Macroeconomic Fundamentals and the Pricing of Sovereign Debt," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 14(2), pages 235-262.
    12. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Globalization and the Great Divergence: Terms of Trade Booms and Volatility in the Poor Periphery 1782-1913," Working Papers 08-07, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    13. Ante Žigman & Boris Cota, 2011. "The impact of fiscal policy on government bond spreads in emerging markets," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 35(4), pages 385-412.
    14. Christopher Blattman & Jason Hwang & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2004. "The Impact of the Terms of Trade on Economic Development in the Periphery, 1870-1939: Volatility and Secular Change," NBER Working Papers 10600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Agliardi, Elettra & Agliardi, Rossella & Pinar, Mehmet & Stengos, Thanasis & Topaloglou, Nikolas, 2012. "A new country risk index for emerging markets: A stochastic dominance approach," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 741-761.
    16. Blattman, Christopher & Hwang, Jason & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Winners and losers in the commodity lottery: The impact of terms of trade growth and volatility in the Periphery 1870-1939," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 156-179, January.
    17. Genberg, Hans & Sulstarova, Astrit, 2008. "Macroeconomic volatility, debt dynamics, and sovereign interest rate spreads," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 26-39, February.
    18. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Globalization and the Great Divergence: Terms of Trade Booms and Volatility in the Poor Periphery 1782-1913," NBER Working Papers 13841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. repec:ilo:ilowps:420405 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Fabrice Collard & Michel Habib & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2015. "Sovereign Debt Sustainability In Advanced Economies," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 381-420, June.
    21. Gill, Indermit & Pinto, Brian, 2005. "Public debt in developing countries : has the market-based model worked?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3674, The World Bank.
    22. Jean-Charles Rochet, 2006. "Optimal Sovereign Debt: An Analytical Approach," Research Department Publications 4477, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    23. David Harvey & Neil Kellard & Jakob Madsen & Mark Wohar, 2012. "Trends and Cycles in Real Commodity Prices: 1650-2010," CEH Discussion Papers 010, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    24. Jean-Marc Fournier & Manuel Bétin, 2018. "Limits to government debt sustainability in middle-income countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1493, OECD Publishing.

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