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Economics Seminar: Hyungseok Joo (Wayne State University)

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ECONOMICS SEMINAR

 

 

Sovereign Debt Overhang, Expenditure Composition, and Debt Restructurings

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HYUNGSEOK JOO

(WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY)

 

 

FEBRUARY 11, 2019     13:30-15:00

FASS 2034

Abstract: Sovereign debtors’ public investment influences defaults and debt restructurings. We compile a new dataset on public expenditure composition around restructurings with private external creditors. We show that public investment (i) experiences a severe decline and slow recovery, (ii) differs from public consumption and transfers, and (iii) relates with restructuring delays. We develop a theoretical model of defaultable debt that explicitly embeds public expenditure composition, capital accumulation, and multi-round debt renegotiations. Our model quantitatively replicates these facts, and shows that severe public investment adjustments—“sovereign debt overhang”—are the source of inefficiencies and that a public investment rule can improve welfare.