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Sovereign Debt Buybacks Can Lower Bargaining Costs

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  • Julio J. Rotemberg

Abstract

I develop two models in which debt repurchases by highly indebted sovereign nations are advantageous for all parties. The models are based on the idea that when sovereign debts are large, bargaining costs are large. Creditors spend more resources convincing the debtor that they are tough when they have more at stake. Also, the sanctions which are sometimes triggered when bargaining fails to produce an agreement are larger when debts are larger. For both these reasons buybacks, which reduce the face value of the outstanding debt, can be beneficial. The resulting equilibria are constrained Pareto Optima. But, donors who subsidize buybacks increase overall welfare more than donors who make direct gifts. I also argue that Bulow and Rogoff (1988)'s empirical evidence on buybacks is consistent with my models.

Suggested Citation

  • Julio J. Rotemberg, 1988. "Sovereign Debt Buybacks Can Lower Bargaining Costs," NBER Working Papers 2767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2767
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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando Broner & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2010. "Sovereign Risk and Secondary Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1523-1555, September.
    2. Balazs Szentes & Natalia Kovrijnykh, 2005. "A Theory of Debt Overhang and Buyback," 2005 Meeting Papers 447, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Angelo Baglioni, 2015. "Leveraged Buybacks Of Sovereign Debt: A Model And An Application To Greece," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(1), pages 87-103, January.
    4. Joshua Aizenman & Eduardo R. Borensztein, 1989. "Strategic Investment in a Debt Bargaining Framework," NBER Working Papers 3019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:taf:rjapxx:v:16:y:2011:i:3:p:354-360 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Silvia Marchesi, 2006. "Buybacks of domestic debt in public debt management," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(5), pages 379-400.
    7. Jonathan P. Thomas, 2001. "Default Costs, Willingness to Pay and Sovereign Debt Buybacks," International Finance 0103002, EconWPA.

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