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International Finance Discussion Papers
The International Finance Discussion Papers logo links to the International Finance Discussion Papers home page News and Sovereign Default Risk in Small Open Economies
Ceyhun Bora Durdu, Ricardo Nunes, and Horacio Sapriza
2010-997  (May 2010)

Abstract:  This paper builds a model of sovereign debt in which default risk, interest rates, and debt depend not only on current fundamentals but also on news about future fundamentals. News shocks affect equilibrium outcomes because they contain information about the future ability of the government to repay its debt. First, in the model with news shocks not all defaults occur in bad times, bringing the model closer to the data. Second, the news shocks help account for key differences between emerging markets and developed economies: as the precision of the news improves the model predicts lower variability of consumption, less countercyclical trade balance and interest rate spreads, as well as a higher level of debt more in line with the characteristics of developed economies. Finally, the model also captures the hump-shaped relationship between default rates and the precision of news obtained from the data.

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Sovereign default risk, news shocks, endogenous borrowing constraints

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