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Systemic and Idiosyncratic Sovereign Debt Crises

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  • Graciela L. Kaminsky
  • Pablo Vega-García

Abstract

The theoretical literature on sovereign defaults has focused on adverse shocks to debtors’ economies, suggesting that defaults are of an idiosyncratic nature. Still, sovereign debt crises are also of a systemic nature, clustered around panics in the financial center such as the European Sovereign Debt Crisis in the aftermath of the U.S. Subprime Crisis in 2008. Crises in the financial centers are rare disasters and thus, their effects on the periphery can only be captured by examining long episodes. This paper examines sovereign defaults from 1820 to the Great Depression, with a focus on Latin America. We find that 63% of the crises are of a systemic nature. These crises are different. Both the international collapse of liquidity and the growth slowdown in the financial centers are at their core. These global shocks trigger longer default spells and larger investors’ losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Graciela L. Kaminsky & Pablo Vega-García, 2014. "Systemic and Idiosyncratic Sovereign Debt Crises," NBER Working Papers 20042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20042
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    Cited by:

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent Reinhart & Christoph Trebesch, 2016. "Global Cycles: Capital Flows, Commodities, and Sovereign Defaults, 1815-2015," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 574-580, May.
    2. Aloisio Araujo & Marcia Leon & Rafael Santos, 2017. "Bargained haircuts and debt policy implications," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 64(4), pages 635-656, December.
    3. Mr. Marcos d Chamon & Mr. Tamon Asonuma & Aitor Erce & Akira Sasahara, 2019. "Costs of Sovereign Defaults: Restructuring Strategies, Bank Distress and the Capital Inflow-Credit Channel," IMF Working Papers 2019/069, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Kaminsky, Graciela, 2017. "The Center and the Periphery: Two Hundred Years of International Borrowing Cycles," MPRA Paper 82125, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Josefin Meyer & Carmen M. Reinhart & Christoph Trebesch, 2019. "Sovereign Bonds since Waterloo," CESifo Working Paper Series 7506, CESifo.
    6. Antonio Bassanetti & Carlo Cottarelli & Andrea F Presbitero, 2019. "Lost and found: market access and public debt dynamics," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 445-471.
    7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Christoph Trebesch, 2015. "The Pitfalls of External Dependence: Greece, 1829–2015," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(2 (Fall)), pages 307-328.
    8. Eberhardt, Markus, 2018. "(At Least) Four Theories for Sovereign Default," CEPR Discussion Papers 13084, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Bordo, M.D. & Meissner, C.M., 2016. "Fiscal and Financial Crises," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 355-412, Elsevier.
    10. Ricardo Sabbadini, 2018. "Loss Aversion and Search for Yield in Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2018_16, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    11. Li Liu & Yu-Min Liu & Jong-Min Kim & Rui Zhong & Guang-Qian Ren, 2020. "Analysis of Tail Dependence between Sovereign Debt Distress and Bank Non-Performing Loans," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(2), pages 1-20, January.

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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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