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Sovereign defaults: The price of haircuts

  • Cruces, Juan J.
  • Trebesch, Christoph

A main puzzle in the sovereign debt literature is that defaults have only minor effects on subsequent borrowing costs and access to credit. This paper comes to a different conclusion. We construct the first complete database of investor losses (\"haircuts\") in all restructurings with foreign banks and bondholders from 1970 until 2010, covering 180 cases in 68 countries. We then show that restructurings involving higher haircuts are associated with significantly higher subsequent bond yield spreads and longer periods of capital market exclusion. The results cast doubt on the widespread belief that credit markets \"forgive and forget.\".

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 20036.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 3 5(2013): pp. 85-117
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20036
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  1. Natalia Kovrijnykh & Balázs Szentes, 2007. "Equilibrium Default Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 403-446.
  2. Eduardo Borensztein & Ugo Panizza, 2009. "The Costs of Sovereign Default," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(4), pages 683-741, November.
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  12. Juan J. Cruces & Christoph Trebesch, 2011. "Sovereign Defaults: The Price of Haircuts," CESifo Working Paper Series 3604, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Javier Díaz-Cassou & Aitor Erce-Domínguez & Juan J. Vázquez-Zamora, 2008. "Recent episodes of sovereign debt restructurings. A case-study approach," Banco de Espa�a Occasional Papers 0804, Banco de Espa�a.
  14. Yue, Vivian Z., 2010. "Sovereign default and debt renegotiation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 176-187, March.
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  19. Sturzenegger, Federico & Zettelmeyer, Jeromin, 2008. "Haircuts: Estimating investor losses in sovereign debt restructurings, 1998-2005," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 780-805, September.
  20. R. Gaston Gelos, Ratna Sahay and Guido Sandleris, 2008. "Sovereign Borrowing by Developing Countries: What Determines Market Access?," Business School Working Papers 2008-02, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  21. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973, March.
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  23. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Schnabel, Isabel & Zettelmeyer, Jeromin, 2006. "How Do Official Bailouts Affect the Risk of Investing in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1689-1714, October.
  24. Rui Pedro Esteves, 2007. "Quis custodiet quem? Sovereign Debt and Bondholders` Protection Before 1914," Economics Series Working Papers 323, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  25. Christoph Trebesch, 2009. "The Cost of Aggressive Sovereign Debt Policies; How Much is theprivate Sector Affected?," IMF Working Papers 09/29, International Monetary Fund.
  26. 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.
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  28. Asonuma, Tamon, 2012. "Serial default and debt renegotiation," MPRA Paper 55139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  29. Guido Sandleris, 2012. "The Costs of Sovereign Defaults:Theory and Empirical Evidence," Business School Working Papers 2012-02, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
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