Preferred and Non-Preferred Creditors

28 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2019

See all articles by Tito Cordella

Tito Cordella

World Bank

Andrew Powell

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Universidad Torcuato Di Tella - School of Business; Harvard University - Center for International Development (CID)

Date Written: July 22, 2019


International financial institutions (IFIs) generally enjoy preferred creditors treatment (PCT). Although PCT rarely appears in legal contracts, when sovereigns restructure bilateral or commercial debts they normally pay IFIs in full. This paper presents a model where a creditor, such as an IFI, that can commit to lend limited amounts at the risk-free rate and can refrain from lending into arrears is always repaid and adds value. The analysis suggests that IFIs should not mimic commercial lenders, but exploit their complementarity, even if banning commercial borrowing can sometimes be optimal. IFIs should also focus on countries with limited market access and should not be forced into debt restructurings.

Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules, External Debt, Debt Relief and HIPC, Debt Markets, International Law, Legal Reform, Regulatory Regimes, Legislation, Social Policy, Legal Products, Judicial System Reform, Capital Flows, Capital Markets and Capital Flows

Suggested Citation

Cordella, Tito and Powell, Andrew P. and Powell, Andrew P., Preferred and Non-Preferred Creditors (July 22, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8941, Available at SSRN:

Tito Cordella (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

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Andrew P. Powell

Universidad Torcuato Di Tella - School of Business ( email )

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Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

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Harvard University - Center for International Development (CID) ( email )

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