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Managing Default Risk for Commodity Dependent Countries: Price Hedging in an Optimizing Model



Macroeconomic volatility, in particular from exposure to volatile terms of trade in the form of volatile commodity prices, is an important source of risk for emerging market countries. As a consequence of this exposure, it has been argued, their probability of facing solvency problems on payments of their foreign currency debt is high, as are the country risk premia they must pay in order to borrow from international capital markets. While the availability of derivative contracts on many major commodity prices makes it possible to hedge commodity price exposure, many emerging market sovereigns either do not hedge a significant amount of their fiscal exposure to their major exports and import commodities or do not clearly report their hedging activities. In light of this phenomenon, and with the goal of crisis prevention in mind, we illustrate how a country exposed to shocks can execute its own insurance strategy against fluctuations in the prices of its major export commodities using futures and options markets. In the context of a model of sovereign default with endogeous sovereign spread and debt choice (Catao and Kapure (2004)), we demonstrate the resulting benefits of this insurance in terms of increased welfare for the country, a reduced soverign spread, and a higher debt ceiling. Additionally, we highlight some political economy problems leaders might face that hinder them from hedging in practice, and describe a hedging strategy to overcome these problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Malone, 2005. "Managing Default Risk for Commodity Dependent Countries: Price Hedging in an Optimizing Model," Economics Series Working Papers 246, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:246

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1982. " The Pricing of Commodity-Linked Bonds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(2), pages 525-539, May.
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    3. Luis Catão & Sandeep Kapur, 2004. "Missing Link; Volatility and the Debt Intolerance Paradox," IMF Working Papers 04/51, International Monetary Fund.
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    11. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 1, pages 35-54, November.
    12. Joseph Atta-Mensah, 2004. "Commodity-Linked Bonds: A Potential Means for Less-Developed Countries to Raise Foreign Capital," Staff Working Papers 04-20, Bank of Canada.
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    15. Ryozo Miura & Hiroaki Yamauchi, 1998. "The Pricing Formula for Commodity-Linked Bonds with Stochastic Convenience Yields and Default Risk," Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Springer;Japanese Association of Financial Economics and Engineering, vol. 5(2), pages 129-158, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Armah, Stephen E., 2008. "Establishing the Presence of a Risk Premium in the Cocoa Futures Market: An Econometric Analysis," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6778, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Dale F. Gray & Elena Loukoianova & Samuel W. Malone & Cheng Hoon Lim, 2008. "A Risk-Based Debt Sustainability Framework; Incorporating Balance Sheets and Uncertainty," IMF Working Papers 08/40, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Ferreira Filipe, Sara, 2012. "Equity order flow and exchange rate dynamics," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 359-381.
    4. López-Martín Bernabé & Leal-Ordoñez Julio C. & Martínez André, 2017. "Commodity Price Risk Management and Fiscal Policy in a Sovereign Default Model," Working Papers 2017-04, Banco de México.

    More about this item


    Sovereign Default; Hedging; Macroeconomic Volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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