Fiscal Adjustments and the Probability of Sovereign Default
30 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2015
Date Written: February 2015
Based on probit estimates, this paper analyzes the effects of fiscal consolidation on the probability of sovereign default in the short run. Using a panel of 104 developing countries from 1980 to 2009 and controlling for various economic, fiscal and political factors, we find that fiscal adjustments in general do not significantly reduce the probability of default even if they are large. Instead, the composition of budget consolidation is decisive in reducing default risk. Expenditure based adjustments are not successful while revenue based adjustments lower the probability of default in the following year by 36 to 55 percent. This finding also holds when economic growth is low or government debt is high as well as when IMF lending is taken into account.
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