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Sovereign Default: The Role of Expectations

Working Paper 723 | Published April 14, 2015

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Juan Pablo Nicolini Senior Research Economist and Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Pedro Teles Banco de Portugal, Catolica Lisbon SBE, and CEPR
Joao Ayres Inter-American Development Bank
Gaston Navarro Federal Reserve Board
Sovereign Default: The Role of Expectations


We study a variation of the standard model of sovereign default, as in Aguiar and Gopinath (2006) or Arellano (2008), and show that this variation is consistent with multiple interest rate equilibria. Some of those equilibria correspond to the ones identified by Calvo (1988), where default is likely because rates are high, and rates are high because default is likely. The model is used to simulate equilibrium movements in sovereign bond spreads that resemble sovereign debt crises. It is also used to discuss lending policies similar to the ones announced by the European Central Bank in 2012.

Published in: _Journal of Economic Theory_ (Vol. 175, May 2018, pp. 803-812),