IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Stock of External Sovereign Debt: Can We Take the Data At 'Face Value'?

  • Daniel A. Dias
  • Christine J. Richmond
  • Mark L.J. Wright

The stock of sovereign debt is typically measured at face value. This is a misleading indicator when debts are issued with different contractual forms. In this paper we construct a new measure of the stock of external sovereign debt for 100 developing countries from 1979 to 2006 that is invariant to contractual form, and illustrate five problems with debt stocks measured at face value. First, we show that correcting for differences in the contractual form of debt paints a very different quantitative, and in some cases also qualitative, picture of the stock of developing country external sovereign debt. Second, rankings of indebtedness across countries, which were historically used to define eligibility for debt forgiveness, are sometimes inverted once we correct for differences in contractual form. Third, the empirical performance of the benchmark quantitative model of sovereign debt deteriorates by between 40 to 70 percent once model-consistent measures of debt are used. Fourth, we show how the spread of aggregation clauses in debt contracts which award creditors voting power in proportion to the contractual face value may introduce inefficiencies into the process of restructuring sovereign debts. Fifth, we show how the use of contractual face values gives issuing countries the ability to manipulate their debt stock data, and illustrate the use of these techniques in practice.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17551.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17551.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Dias, Daniel A. & Richmond, Christine & Wright, Mark L.J., 2014. "The stock of external sovereign debt: Can we take the data at ‘face value’?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 1-17.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17551
Note: EFG IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," Scholarly Articles 11129154, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Jeromin Zettelmeyer & Christoph Trebesch & Mitu Gulati, 2013. "The Greek Debt Restructuring: An Autopsy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4333, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Arellano, Cristina, 2008. "Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 7867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Alfaro, Laura & Kanczuk, Fabio, 2005. "Sovereign debt as a contingent claim: a quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 297-314, March.
  5. Satyajit Chatterjee & Burcu Eyigungor, 2012. "Maturity, Indebtedness, and Default Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2674-99, October.
  6. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2004. "Good, bad or ugly? On the effects of fiscal rules with creative accounting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 377-394, January.
  7. Nicolas Depetris Chauvin & Aart Kraay, 2005. "What Has 100 Billion Dollars Worth of Debt Relief Done for Low- Income Countries?," International Finance 0510001, EconWPA.
  8. Michael Tomz & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Do countries default in “bad times”?," Working Paper Series 2007-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Mark Wright & Christine Richmond & Daniel Dias, 2012. "On The Stock of External Sovereign Debt," 2012 Meeting Papers 490, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. 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.
  11. Cristina Arellano & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2008. "Default and the maturity structure in sovereign bonds," Staff Report 410, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "The Forgotten History of Domestic Debt," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 319-350, 05.
  13. Guido Sandleris & Horacio Sapriza & Filippo Taddei, 2008. "Indexed Sovereign Debt: An Applied Framework," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 104, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2011.
  14. Jaejoon Woo & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2010. "Public Debt and Growth," IMF Working Papers 10/174, International Monetary Fund.
  15. William Easterly, 1999. "When is fiscal adjustment an illusion?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 55-86, 04.
  16. Mark Wright & Christine Richmond & Daniel Dias, 2013. "In for a Penny, In for a 100 Billion Pounds: Quantifying the Welfare Benefits from Debt Relief," 2013 Meeting Papers 646, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2006. "Defaultable debt, interest rates and the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 64-83, June.
  18. Easterly, william, 2001. "Growth implosions, debt explosions, and my Aunt Marilyn : do growth slowdowns cause public debt crises?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2531, The World Bank.
  19. Ran Bi, 2008. ""Beneficial" Delays in Debt Restructuring Negotiations," 2008 Meeting Papers 766, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Ran Bi, 2008. "Beneficial Delays in Debt Restructuring Negotiations," IMF Working Papers 08/38, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Claessens, Stijn & Detragiache, Enrica & Kanbur, Ravi & Wickham, Peter, 1996. "Analytical aspects of the debt problems of heavily indebted poor countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1618, The World Bank.
  22. Piga, Gustavo, 2001. "Do Governments Use Financial Derivatives Appropriately? Evidence from Sovereign Borrowers in Developed Economies," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 189-219, Summer.
  23. Hatchondo, Juan Carlos & Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 117-125, September.
  24. Herschel I. Grossman & John B. Van Huyck, 1985. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 1673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Franz Hamann, 2002. "Sovereign Risk and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003520, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  26. Ugo Panizza & Andrea F. Presbitero, 2013. "Public Debt and Economic Growth in Advanced Economies: A Survey," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(II), pages 175-204, June.
  27. Vivian Z. Yue, 2005. "Sovereign Default and Debt Renegotiation," 2005 Meeting Papers 138, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  28. Yeva Nersisyan & L. Randall Wray, 2010. "Does Excessive Sovereign Debt Really Hurt Growth? A Critique of This Time Is Different, by Reinhart and Rogoff," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_603, Levy Economics Institute.
  29. Easterly, William, 2002. "How Did Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Become Heavily Indebted? Reviewing Two Decades of Debt Relief," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 1677-1696, October.
  30. Thomas Herndon & Michael Ash & Robert Pollin, 2013. "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogo ff," Working Papers wp322, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17551. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.