IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Serial Defaults, Serial Profits: Returns to Sovereign Lending in Habsburg Spain, 1566-1600

  • Drelichman, Mauricio
  • Voth, Hans-Joachim

Philip II of Spain accumulated debts equivalent to 60% of GDP. He also defaulted four times on his short-term loans, thus becoming the first serial defaulter in history. Contrary to a common view in the literature, we show that lending to the king was profitable even under worst-case scenario assumptions. Lenders maintained long-term relationships with the crown. Losses sustained during defaults were more than compensated by profits in normal times. Defaults were not catastrophic events. In effect, short-term lending acted as an insurance mechanism, allowing the king to reduce his payments in harsh times in exchange for paying a premium in tranquil periods.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://mauricio.econ.ubc.ca/pdfs/Serial_Profits.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series Economics working papers with number mauricio_drelichman-2010-12.

as
in new window

Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2010
Date of revision: 04 Jul 2011
Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:mauricio_drelichman-2010-12
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.economics.ubc.ca/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1994. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," NBER Working Papers 4921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Arellano, Cristina, 2008. "Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 7867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Barberis, Nicholas & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1998. "A model of investor sentiment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 307-343, September.
  4. Kris James Mitchener & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2005. "Supersanctions and Sovereign Debt Repayment," NBER Working Papers 11472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Drelichman, Mauricio & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2010. "The Sustainable Debts of Philip II: A Reconstruction of Castile's Fiscal Position, 1566–1596," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(04), pages 813-842, December.
  6. Reinhart, Carmen, 2004. "Debt intolerance: Executive summary," MPRA Paper 13398, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Vivian Z. Yue, 2005. "Sovereign Default and Debt Renegotiation," 2005 Meeting Papers 138, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8973, 01-2013.
  9. Kohlscheen, Emanuel, 2006. "Why are there Serial Defaulters? Evidence from Constitutions," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 755, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. James Conklin, 1998. "The Theory of Sovereign Debt and Spain under Philip II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 483-513, June.
  11. Peter H. Lindert & Peter J. Morton, 1989. "How Sovereign Debt Has Worked," NBER Chapters, in: Developing Country Debt and the World Economy, pages 225-236 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Peter H. Lindert & Peter J. Morton, 1989. "How Sovereign Debt Has Worked," NBER Chapters, in: Developing Country Debt and Economic Performance, Volume 1: The International Financial System, pages 39-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Veronica Guerrieri & Peter Kondor, 2010. "Fund managers, career concerns, and asset price volatility," Staff Report 446, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Drelichman, Mauricio & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2008. "Lending to the Borrower from Hell: Debt and Default in the Age of Phillip II," Economics working papers mauricio_drelichman-2008-, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 06 Sep 2010.
  14. 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.
  15. Roland Bénabou, 2009. "Groupthink: Collective Delusions in Organizations and Markets," NBER Working Papers 14764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Álvarez Nogal, Carlos, 2003. "The role of institutions to solve sovereing debt problems : the Spanish monarchy's credit (1516-1665)," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wh030804, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  17. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1995. "Relationship Lending and Lines of Credit in Small Firm Finance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 351-81, July.
  18. Eaton, J. & Fernandez, R., 1995. "Sovereign Debt," Papers 37, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  19. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2007. "Investor Sentiment in the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 13189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. David Benjamin & Mark L. J. Wright, 2009. "Recovery Before Redemption: A Theory Of Delays In Sovereign Debt Renegotiations," CAMA Working Papers 2009-15, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  21. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Scholarly Articles 12491028, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Mitchener, Kris James & Weidenmier, Marc D., 2010. "Supersanctions and sovereign debt repayment," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 19-36, February.
  23. Maurizio Drelichman & Joachim Voth, 2011. "Risk sharing with the monarch: Excusable defaults and contingent debt in the age of Philip II, 1556-1598," Economics Working Papers 1284, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2013.
  24. Grossman, Herschel I & Van Huyck, John B, 1988. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1088-97, December.
  25. Drelichman, Mauricio, 2005. "The curse of Moctezuma: American silver and the Dutch disease," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 349-380, July.
  26. Natalia Kovrijnykh & Balázs Szentes, 2007. "Equilibrium Default Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 403-446.
  27. Reinhart, Karmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. ""This time is different": panorama of eight centuries of financial crises," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 77-114, March.
  28. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:mauricio_drelichman-2010-12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maureen Chin)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.