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Evidence for Relational Contracts in Sovereign Bank Lending

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  • Peter Benczur
  • Cosmin L. Ilut

Abstract

This paper presents direct evidence for relational contracts in sovereign bank lending. Unlike the existing empirical literature, its instrumental variables method allows for distinguishing a direct influence of past repayment problems on current spreads (a "punishment" effect in prices) from an indirect effect through higher expected future default probabilities ("loss of reputation"). Such a punishment provides positive surplus to lenders after a default and decreases the borrower's present discounted value of the net benefits of future borrowing, which create dynamic incentives. Using data on bank loans to developing countries between 1973-1981 and constructing continuous variables for credit history, we find evidence that most of the influence of past repayment problems is through the direct, punishment channel.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Benczur & Cosmin L. Ilut, 2014. "Evidence for Relational Contracts in Sovereign Bank Lending," NBER Working Papers 20391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20391
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    Cited by:

    1. Marin Ferry & Marc Raffinot, 2019. "Curse or Blessing? Has the Impact of Debt Relief Lived up to Expectations? A Review of the Effects of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives for Low-Income Countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(9), pages 1867-1891, September.
    2. Catão, Luis A.V. & Mano, Rui C., 2017. "Default premium," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 91-110.
    3. Fløgstad, Cathrin N. & Nordtveit, Ingvild, 2014. "Lending to developing countries: How do official creditors respond to sovereign defaults?," Working Papers in Economics 01/14, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    4. Juan J. Cruces & Christoph Trebesch, 2011. "Sovereign Defaults: The Price of Haircuts," CESifo Working Paper Series 3604, CESifo.
    5. Juan J. Cruces & Christoph Trebesch, 2013. "Sovereign Defaults: The Price of Haircuts," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 85-117, July.
    6. Eberhardt, Markus, 2018. "(At Least) Four Theories for Sovereign Default," CEPR Discussion Papers 13084, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Tamon Asonuma, 2016. "Serial Sovereign Defaults and Debt Restructurings," IMF Working Papers 16/66, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Christoph Trebesch & Michael G. Papaioannou & Udaibir S Das, 2012. "Sovereign Debt Restructurings 1950-2010; Literature Survey, Data, and Stylized Facts," IMF Working Papers 12/203, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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