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Structuring and Restructuring Sovereign Debt: The Role of Seniority

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  • Patrick Bolton
  • Olivier Jeanne

Abstract

In an environment characterized by weak contractual enforcement, sovereign lenders can enhance the likelihood of repayment by making their claims more difficult to restructure. We show within a simple model how competition for repayment between lenders may result in sovereign debt that is excessively difficult to restructure in equilibrium. Alleviating this inefficiency requires a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism that fulfills some of the functions of corporate bankruptcy regimes, in particular the enforcement of seniority and subordination clauses in debt contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Bolton & Olivier Jeanne, 2005. "Structuring and Restructuring Sovereign Debt: The Role of Seniority," NBER Working Papers 11071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11071 Note: CF IFM
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    Cited by:

    1. Garima Vasishtha, 2010. "Domestic versus External Borrowing and Fiscal Policy in Emerging Markets," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(5), pages 1058-1074, November.
    2. Carlos Hatchondo, Juan & Martinez, Leonardo & Sánchez, Juan M., 2015. "Mortgage defaults," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 173-190.
      • Hatchondo, Juan Carlos & Martinez, Leonardo & Sánchez, Juan M., 2011. "Mortgage defaults," Working Papers 2011-019, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 31 Jul 2015.
      • Leonardo Martinez & Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Juan M. Sanchez, 2012. "Mortgage Defaults," IMF Working Papers 12/26, International Monetary Fund.
      • Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Juan M. Sanchez, 2011. "Mortgage defaults," Working Paper 11-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
      • Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Juan M. Sanchez, 2015. "Mortgage Defaults," Caepr Working Papers 2015-011 Classification-D, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    3. Eichengreen, Barry & Kletzer, Kenneth & Mody, Ashoka, 2006. "The IMF in a world of private capital markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1335-1357, May.
    4. Rohan Pitchford & Mark L. J. Wright, 2012. "Holdouts in Sovereign Debt Restructuring: A Theory of Negotiation in a Weak Contractual Environment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 812-837.
    5. Patrick Bolton & Olivier Jeanne, 2009. "Structuring and Restructuring Sovereign Debt: The Role of Seniority -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 879-902.
    6. 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 651-698, September.
    7. Goderis, Benedikt & Wagner, Wolf, 2009. "Credit Derivatives and Sovereign Debt Crises," MPRA Paper 17314, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Irwin, Gregor & Thwaites, Gregory, 2008. "Efficient frameworks for sovereign borrowing," Bank of England working papers 343, Bank of England.
    9. Saravia, Diego, 2010. "On the role and effects of IMF seniority," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1024-1044, October.
    10. Patrick Bolton & Olivier Jeanne, 2007. "Structuring and Restructuring Sovereign Debt: The Role of a Bankruptcy Regime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 901-924, December.
    11. Sherif Khalifa, 2010. "Conditionality covenants: Commitment versus discretion in sovereign credit contracts," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 411-423.
    12. Stephen Quinn, 2008. "Securitization of Sovereign Debt: Corporations as a Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism in Britain, 1694-1750," Working Papers 200701, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.
    13. Federico Sturzenegger and Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2006. "Has the Legal Threat to Sovereign Debt Restructuring Become Real?," Business School Working Papers legalthreat, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.

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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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