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Sovereign Debt, Government Myopia, and the Financial Sector

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  • Viral V. Acharya
  • Raghuram G. Rajan

Abstract

What determines the sustainability of sovereign debt? We develop a model where myopic governments seek popularity but can nevertheless commit credibly to service external debt. They do not default when debt is low because they would lose access to debt markets and be forced to reduce spending; they do not default as debt builds up, and net new borrowing becomes difficult, because of the adverse consequences from default to the domestic financial sector. More myopic governments default less often, but tax in a more distortionary way and increase the vulnerability of the domestic financial sector to future government debt default.

Suggested Citation

  • Viral V. Acharya & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2011. "Sovereign Debt, Government Myopia, and the Financial Sector," NBER Working Papers 17542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17542
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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