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Serial Default and Its Remedies


  • Reinhart, Carmen
  • Rogoff, Kenneth


The main theme of this paper is that debt cycles deeply entrenched in the process of development, and one must be careful about trusting magic elixirs that purport to finesse the problem entirely. Middle income countries nascent political and economic institutions, often simultaneously face extremely high degrees of economic uncertainty, not least stemming from the extraordinary volatility of world commodity and agricultural prices. At the same time, many of these countries have exhausted autarkic growth strategies, and find themselves desparately needing to deepen financial markets in order to efficiently allocate scarce saving and expand growth. But this process of deepening – often associated with increased international capital market integration – almost invariably exposes them to heightened risks. And, unfortunately, once a country suffers one bout of default, its institutions and markets become weaker and more vulnerable to more debt problems, a phenomenon Reinhart, Rogoff and Savastano term “Debt Intolerance.”

Suggested Citation

  • Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2005. "Serial Default and Its Remedies," MPRA Paper 7423, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7423

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
    2. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-178, February.
    3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, January.
    4. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
    5. repec:rus:hseeco:123922 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "Will the Sovereign Debt Market Survive?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 85-90, May.
    7. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Vadym Volosovych, 2008. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries? An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 347-368, May.
    8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "Serial Default and the "Paradox" of Rich-to-Poor Capital Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 53-58, May.
    9. Lane Philip R., 2004. "Empirical Perspectives on Long-Term External Debt," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-23, January.
    10. Kenneth Rogoff, 1999. "International Institutions for Reducing Global Financial Instability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 21-42, Fall.
    11. Gertler, Mark & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "North-South lending and endogenous domestic capital market inefficiencies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 245-266, October.
    12. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Cleaning Up Third World Debt without Getting Taken to the Cleaners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 31-42, Winter.
    13. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
    14. Mark Gertler & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1989. "Developing country borrowing and domestic wealth," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy


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