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The cost of defaults: the impact of haircuts on economic growth

  • Silvia Marchesi
  • Valeria Prato

This paper studies the impact of debt default on economic growth taking into account the depth of a debt restructuring. More specifically, creditors' losses (or haircuts) are used as proxies of the severity of the default episodes. Analyzing 89 defaults in 72 countries over the period 1979-2005, consistently with previous results in this literature, we find that defaults have a negative and significant impact on short-term output growth. Moreover, controlling for the severity of the default through the haircut's size, we find that the severity of the default is indeed correlated with a further contraction in output one year after the default and with a positive increase in output three years after the default. Therefore, the use of a variable which is taken as a proxy of the severity of the default episode allows us to detect a more lasting (and eventually positive) effect of debt default on growth.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper265.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 265.

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Length: 19
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision: Dec 2013
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:265
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  1. Eduardo Borensztein & Ugo Panizza, 2006. "Do Sovereign Defaults Hurt Exporters?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6704, Inter-American Development Bank.
  2. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 43-50, March.
  3. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
  4. Furceri, Davide & Zdzienicka, Aleksandra, 2011. "How costly are debt crises?," MPRA Paper 30953, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Gelos, R. Gaston & Sahay, Ratna & Sandleris, Guido, 2011. "Sovereign borrowing by developing countries: What determines market access?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 243-254, March.
  6. Jeromin Zettelmeyer & Federico Sturzenegger, 2005. "Haircuts; Estimating Investor Losses in Sovereign Debt Restructurings, 1998-2005," IMF Working Papers 05/137, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "One reason countries pay their debts: renegotiation and international trade," Staff Reports 142, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Harold L. Cole & James Dow & William B. English, 1994. "Default, settlement, and signalling: lending resumption in a reputational model of sovereign debt," Staff Report 180, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Cruces, Juan J. & Trebesch, Christoph, 2013. "Sovereign defaults: The price of haircuts," Munich Reprints in Economics 20036, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Michael Tomz & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Do Countries Default In "Bad Times"?," CAMA Working Papers 2007-23, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  11. David Benjamin, 2008. "Recovery Before Redemption," 2008 Meeting Papers 531, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. 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.
  13. Ugo Panizza & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "The Elusive Costs of Sovereign Defaults," Research Department Publications 4485, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  14. English, William B, 1996. "Understanding the Costs of Sovereign Default: American State Debts in the 1840's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 259-75, March.
  15. Ozler, Sule, 1993. "Have Commercial Banks Ignored History?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 608-20, June.
  16. Eduardo Borensztein & Ugo Panizza, 2009. "The Costs of Sovereign Default," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(4), pages 683-741, November.
  17. Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2009. "The Economics and Law of Sovereign Debt and Default," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 651-98, September.
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