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Why do some countries default more often than others ? the role of institutions

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  • Qian, Rong

Abstract

This paper examines how a country's weak institutions and polarized government can affect the likelihood of its default on sovereign debt. Using a data set of 90 countries, it shows that strong institutions are associated with fewer sovereign default crises. In addition, when institutions are weak, a more polarized government tends to default more often. To explain these findings, the author develops a model showing the dynamics between the quality of institutions, the level of government polarization and sovereign default risk. Countries default more often when they lack rules and strong institutions to curb the influence of powerful groups on government policies. That is because in a polarized government, each powerful group makes decisions without considering the impact on other groups. Simulations of the model show that more than half the cross-country variation in sovereign default frequencies can be explained by institutional quality and the degree of government polarization observed in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Qian, Rong, 2012. "Why do some countries default more often than others ? the role of institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5993, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5993
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rong Qian & Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "On Graduation from Default, Inflation and Banking Crises: Elusive or Illusion?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25, pages 1-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Eden, Maya & Kraay, Aart & Qian, Rong, 2012. "Sovereign defaults and expropriations : empirical regularities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6218, The World Bank.
    3. Javed, Omer, 2013. "Determinants of Institutional Quality: A Case Study of IMF Programme Countries," MPRA Paper 51344, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Andreasen, Eugenia, 2015. "Sovereign default, enforcement and the private cost of capital," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 411-427.
    5. Ahmadov, Ingilab & Mammadov, Jeyhun & Aslanli, Kenan, 2013. "Assessment of Institutional Quality in Resource-Rich Caspian Basin Countries," MPRA Paper 47430, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Jeyhun Mammadov & Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jeyhun Mammadov & Prof. Dr. Ingilab Ahmadov & PhD candidate, Kenan Aslanli, 2013. "Assessment of Institutional Quality in Resource Rich Caspian Basin Countries," International Conference on Energy, Regional Integration and Socio-economic Development 5994, EcoMod.

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    Keywords

    Debt Markets; Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress; Economic Theory&Research; Access to Finance; Emerging Markets;

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