A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt


Bulow, Jeremy, and Kenneth Rogoff. 1989. “A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt.” The Journal of Political Economy 97: 155–178.
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We present a dynamic model of international lending in which borrowers cannot commit to future repayments and in which debtors can sometimes successfully negotiate partial defaulters or "rescheduling agreements." All parties in a debt rescheduling negotiation realize that today's rescheduling agreement may itself have to be renegotiated in the future. Our bargaining-theoretic approach allows us to handle the effects of uncertainty on sovereign debt contracts in a much more satisfactory way than in earlier analyses. The framework is readily extended to analyze the conflicting interests of different lenders and of banks and creditor country taxpayers.


Reprinted from the JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY published by the University of Chicago Press, copyright © 1989 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. One copy may be printed for individual use.

Last updated on 04/29/2013