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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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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. Guido M. Sandleris, 2005. "Sovereign Defaults: Information, Investment and Credit," 2005 Meeting Papers 21, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  4. Broner, Fernando A & Lorenzoni, Guido & Schmukler, Sergio, 2007. "Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6249, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  17. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
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  22. Gelos, R. Gaston & Sahay, Ratna & Sandleris, Guido, 2011. "Sovereign borrowing by developing countries: What determines market access?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 243-254, March.
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  24. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609.
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