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Optimal external debt and default

Listed author(s):
  • Bernardo Guimaraes

    (LSE)

This paper analyses whether sovereign default episodes can be seen as contingencies of optimal international lending contracts. The model considers a small open economy with capital accumulation and without commitment to repay debt. Taking first order approximations of Bellman equations, I derive analytical expressions for the equilibrium level of debt and the optimal debt contract. In this environment, debt relief generated by reasonable fluctuations in productivity is an order of magnitude below that generated by shocks to world interest rates. Debt relief prescribed by the model following the interest rate hikes of 1980-81 accounts for a substantial part of the debt forgiveness obtained by the main Latin American countries through the Brady agreements.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2007 Meeting Papers with number 104.

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Date of creation: 2007
Handle: RePEc:red:sed007:104
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  4. 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.
  5. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
  6. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-1089, July.
  7. Robert J. Barro & N. Gregory Mankiw & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Capital mobility in Neoclassical models of growth," Economics Working Papers 82, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. Daniel Cohen & Jeffrey Sachs, 1985. "Growth and External Debt Under Risk of Debt Repudiation," NBER Working Papers 1703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Raquel Fernandez & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1990. "Strategic Models of Sovereign-Debt Renegotiations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 331-349.
  10. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Olivier Jeanne, 2003. "The Elusive Gains from International Financial Integration," NBER Working Papers 9684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Arellano, Cristina, 2008. "Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 7867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. William R. Cline, 1995. "International Debt Reexamined," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 46, 03.
  13. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable debt, interest rates and the current account," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  14. Kletzer, K.M. & Newbery, D.M., 1991. "Smoothing Primary Exporters' Price Risks: Bonds, Futures, Options and Insurance," Papers 647, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  15. Broner, Fernando A & Martin, Alberto & Ventura, Jaume, 2007. "Sovereign Risk and Secondary Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 6055, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Pablo A. Neumeyer & Fabrizio Perri, 2004. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: The Role of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 10387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Patrick J. Kehoe & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "Competitive equilibria with limited enforcement," Working Papers 621, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. Vivian Z. Yue, 2005. "Sovereign Default and Debt Renegotiation," 2005 Meeting Papers 138, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Michael Tomz & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Do countries default in “bad times”?," Working Paper Series 2007-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  20. William R. Zame, 1992. "Efficiency and the Role of Default When Security Markets are Incomplete," UCLA Economics Working Papers 673, UCLA Department of Economics.
  21. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2004. "Serial Default and the “Paradox†of Rich-to-Poor Capital Flows," Scholarly Articles 11129182, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Martin Uribe & Vivian Z. Yue, 2004. "Country spreads and emerging countries: who drives whom?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  23. Herschel I. Grossman & John B. Van Huyck, 1985. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 1673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Karsten Jeske, 2006. "Private International Debt with Risk of Repudiation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 576-593, June.
  25. Eduardo Borensztein & Paolo Mauro, 2004. "The case for GDP-indexed bonds," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(38), pages 165-216, 04.
  26. Marcet, Albert & Marimon, Ramon, 1992. "Communication, commitment, and growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 219-249, December.
  27. 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.
  28. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "Serial default and the “paradox” of rich to poor capital flows," MPRA Paper 13997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  29. Dotsey, Michael & Lantz, Carl & Scholl, Brian, 2003. " The Behavior of the Real Rate of Interest," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 91-110, February.
  30. Alfaro, Laura & Kanczuk, Fabio, 2005. "Sovereign debt as a contingent claim: a quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 297-314, March.
  31. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Kaminsky, Graciela L., 1991. "Debt relief and debt rescheduling : The optimal-contract approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 5-36, July.
  32. Natalia Kovrijnykh & Balázs Szentes, 2007. "Equilibrium Default Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 403-446.
  33. Carlos F. Diaz-Alejandro, 1984. "Latin American Debt: I Don't Think We Are in Kansas Anymore," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(2), pages 335-403.
  34. repec:rus:hseeco:123922 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. Rui Albuquerque & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2004. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 285-315.
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