Creator: Benjamin, David and Wright, Mark L. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 753 Abstract:
Negotiations to restructure sovereign debt are time consuming, taking almost a decade on average to resolve. In this paper, we analyze a class of widely used complete information models of delays in sovereign debt restructuring and show that, despite superficial similarities, there are major differences across models in the driving force for equilibrium delay, the circumstances in which delay occurs, and the efficiency of the debt restructuring process. We focus on three key assumptions. First, if delay has a permanent effect on economic activity in the defaulting country, equilibrium delay often occurs; this delay can sometimes be socially efficient. Second, prohibiting debt issuance as part of a settlement makes delay less likely to occur in equilibrium. Third, when debt issuance is not fully state contingent, delay can arise because of the risk that the sovereign will default on any debt issued as part of the settlement.
Keyword: Bargaining, Sovereign debt, Sovereign default, and Delay Subject (JEL): H63 - National Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt, F34 - International Lending and Debt Problems, and C78 - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
Creator: Schlegl, Matthias, Trebesch, Christoph, and Wright, Mark L. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 759 Abstract:
Sovereign governments owe debt to many foreign creditors and can choose which creditors to favor when making payments. This paper documents the de facto seniority structure of sovereign debt using new data on defaults (missed payments or arrears) and creditor losses in debt restructuring (haircuts). We overturn conventional wisdom by showing that official bilateral (government-to-government) debt is junior, or at least not senior, to private sovereign debt such as bank loans and bonds. Private creditors are typically paid first and lose less than bilateral official creditors. We confirm that multilateral institutions like the IMF and World Bank are senior creditors.
Keyword: Sovereign default, IMF, International financial architecture, Pecking order, Insolvency, Official debt, Sovereign bonds, Arrears, and Priority Subject (JEL): G10 - General Financial Markets: General (includes Measurement and Data), F30 - International Finance: General, F50 - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy: General, and F40 - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance: General
Creator: Arellano, Cristina, Atkeson, Andrew, and Wright, Mark L. J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 515 Abstract:
The recent debt crises in Europe and the U.S. states feature similar sharp increases in spreads on government debt but also show important differences. In Europe, the crisis occurred at high government indebtedness levels and had spillovers to the private sector. In the United States, state government indebtedness was low, and the crisis had no spillovers to the private sector. We show theoretically and empirically that these different debt experiences result from the interplay between differences in the ability of governments to interfere in private external debt contracts and differences in the flexibility of state fiscal institutions.
Keyword: Debt crises, Tax flexibility, Interference with private contracts, and Sudden stops Subject (JEL): K10 - Basic Areas of Law: General (Constitutional Law), F30 - International Finance: General, and H70 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations: General
Creator: Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban and Wright, Mark L. J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 382 Abstract:
Why do growth and net exit rates of establishments decline with size? What determines the size distribution of establishments? This paper presents a theory of establishment dynamics that simultaneously rationalizes the basic facts on economy-wide establishment growth, net exit, and size distributions. The theory emphasizes the accumulation of industry-specific human capital in response to industry-specific productivity shocks. It predicts that establishment growth and net exit rates should decline faster with size and that the establishment size distribution should have thinner tails in sectors that use human capital less intensively or physical capital more intensively. In line with the theory, the data show substantial sectoral heterogeneity in U.S. establishment size dynamics and distributions, which is well explained by variation in physical capital intensity.
Keyword: Scale Effects, Size Distribution of Establishments, Zip's Law, Gibrat's Law, and Establishment Dynamics Subject (JEL): L16 - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics: Industrial Structure and Structural Change; Industrial Price Indices, L11 - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms, and L25 - Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope
Creator: Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban and Wright, Mark L. J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 381 Abstract:
Most economic activity occurs in cities. This creates a tension between local increasing returns, implied by the existence of cities, and aggregate constant returns, implied by balanced growth. To address this tension, we develop a general equilibrium theory of economic growth in an urban environment. In our theory, variation in the urban structure through the growth, birth, and death of cities is the margin that eliminates local increasing returns to yield constant returns to scale in the aggregate. We show that, consistent with the data, the theory produces a city size distribution that is well approximated by Zipf’s Law, but that also displays the observed systematic under-representation of both very small and very large cities. Using our model, we show that the dispersion of city sizes is consistent with the dispersion of productivity shocks found in the data.
Keyword: Scale Effects, Balanced Growth, Zip's Law, Gibrat's Law, Economic Growth, and Size Distribution of Cities Subject (JEL): E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics: General, O40 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General, and R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: General
Creator: Ohanian, Lee E., Restrepo-Echavarria, Paulina, and Wright, Mark L. J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 563 Abstract:
After World War II, international capital flowed into slow-growing Latin America rather than fast-growing Asia. This is surprising as, everything else equal, fast growth should imply high capital returns. This paper develops a capital flow accounting framework to quantify the role of different factor market distortions in producing these patterns. Surprisingly, we find that distortions in labor markets — rather than domestic or international capital markets — account for the bulk of these flows. Labor market distortions that indirectly depress investment incentives by lowering equilibrium labor supply explain two-thirds of observed flows, while improvement in these distortions over time accounts for much of Asia’s rapid growth.
Keyword: Labor markets, International capital markets, Domestic capital markets, and Capital flows Subject (JEL): F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, J20 - Demand and Supply of Labor: General, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, and F21 - International Investment; Long-term Capital Movements