Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1972803
 
 

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Sovereign Debt, Government Myopia, and the Financial Sector


Viral V. Acharya


New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Raghuram G. Rajan


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; International Monetary Fund (IMF); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

December 2011

NYU Working Paper No. 2451/31365

Abstract:     
What determines the sustainability of sovereign debt? In this paper, we develop a model where myopic governments seek electoral popularity but can nevertheless commit credibly to service external debt. They do not default when they are poor because they would lose access to debt markets and be forced to reduce spending; they do not default when they become rich because of the adverse consequences to the domestic financial sector. Interestingly, the more myopic a government, the greater the advantage it sees in borrowing, and therefore the less likely it will be to default (in contrast to models where sovereigns repay because they are concerned about their long term reputation). More myopic governments are also likely to tax in a more distortionary way, and create more dependencies between the domestic financial sector and government debt that raise the costs of default. We use the model to explain recent experiences in sovereign debt markets.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

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Date posted: December 15, 2011 ; Last revised: September 10, 2013

Suggested Citation

Acharya, Viral V. and Rajan, Raghuram G., Sovereign Debt, Government Myopia, and the Financial Sector (December 2011). NYU Working Paper No. 2451/31365. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1972803

Contact Information

Viral V. Acharya (Contact Author)
New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States
HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/vacharya/public_html/~vacharya.htm
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance
Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
Raghuram G. Rajan
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-4437 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)
International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )
700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
773-702-9299 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)
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