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Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies

  • Arellano, Cristina

Recent sovereign defaults in emerging countries are accompanied by interest rate spikes and deep recessions. This paper develops a small open economy model to study default risk and its interaction with output, consumption, and foreign debt. Default probabilities and interest rates depend on incentives for repayment. Default occurs in equilibrium because asset markets are incomplete. The model predicts that default incentives and interest rates are higher in recessions, as observed in the data. The reason is that in a recession, a risk averse borrower finds it more costly to repay non-contingent debt and is more likely to default. In a quantitative exercise the model matches various features of the business cycle in Argentina such as: high volatility of interest rates, higher volatility of consumption relative to output, a negative correlation of interest rates and output and a negative correlation of the trade balance and output. The model can also predict the recent default episode in Argentina.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/7867/1/MPRA_paper_7867.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 7867.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7867
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  1. William R. Zame, 1992. "Efficiency and the Role of Default When Security Markets are Incomplete," UCLA Economics Working Papers 673, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Harold L. Cole & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1997. "Reviving reputation models of international debt," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 21-30.
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  11. Kenneth M. Kletzer and Brian D. Wright., 1998. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-100, University of California at Berkeley.
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  19. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable debt, interest rates, and the current account," Working Papers 04-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  20. Gaston Gelos & Guido Sandleris & Ratna Sahay, 2004. "Sovereign Borrowing by Developing Countries; What Determines Market Access?," IMF Working Papers 04/221, International Monetary Fund.
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  22. Sandleris, Guido, 2008. "Sovereign defaults: Information, investment and credit," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 267-275, December.
  23. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
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  25. Jean Tirole, 2003. "Inefficient Foreign Borrowing: A Dual-and Common-Agency Perspective," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000136, David K. Levine.
  26. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
  27. Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609, October.
  28. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
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