Working Papers

Abstract: Sovereign default decisions occur both in the extensive margin (whether to default or not) and in the intensive margin (how much to default). This paper focuses on the latter and builds on a partial default structural model with endogenous intensive margin decisions. In particular, I consider a fixed exchange rate regime environment where all nominal depreciations happen exogenously, and countries can decide how much to optimally default on their sovereign debt (partial default). I calibrate the model to the African Financial Community (CFA) franc zones, where the domestic currencies have been pegged to a foreign currency since 1948 (first the French Franc and then the Euro) with only one domestic nominal devaluation. The model shows that nominal depreciations increase the debt burden for the economy and lead to a higher percentage of partial default, which corresponds with the empirical evidence. In addition, a robust analysis shows that the existence of a sovereign default intensive margin reduces negative welfare effects of nominal depreciations by about 25%.

Work in Progress

with Joseph Kachovec

with Hyun Soo Suh