NBER Working Papers by Daniel Cohen

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Working Papers

May 2004Dealing with Destabilizing 'Market Discipline'
with Richard Portes: w10533
If interest rates (country spreads) rise, debt can rapidly be subject to a snowball effect, which then becomes self-fulfilling with regard to the fundamentals themselves. This is a market imperfection, because we cannot be confident that the unaided market will choose the good equilibrium' over the bad equilibrium'. We see here a fundamental flaw in the process of market discipline. We propose a policy intervention to deal with this structural weakness in the mechanisms of international capital flows. This is based on a simple taxonomy that enables us to break down the origin of crises into three components: a crisis of confidence (spreads and currency crisis), a crisis of fundamentals (real growth rate), and a crisis of economic policy (primary deficit). The policy would seek to short-c...
September 1985Growth and External Debt Under Risk of Debt Repudiation
with Jeffrey Sachs: w1703
We analyze the pattern of growth of a nation which borrows abroad and which has the option of repudiating its foreign debt. We show that the equilibrium strategy of competitive lenders is to make the growth of the foreign debt contingent on the growth of the borrowing country. We give a closed-form solution to a linear version of our model. The economy, in that case, follows a two-stage pattern of growth. During the first stage, the debt grows more rapidly than the economy. During the second stage, both the debt and the economy grow at the same rate, and more slowly than in the first stage. During this second stage, the total interest falling due on the debt is never entirely repaid; only an amount proportional to the difference of the rate of interest and the rate of growth of the economy...
July 1982LDC Borrowing with Default Risk
with Jeffrey Sachs: w0925
This paper presents a theoretical model to describe the effects of default risk on international lending to LDC sovereign borrowers. The threat of defaults in international lending is shown to give rise to many characteristics of the syndicated loan market: (1) quantity rationing of loans; (2) LDC policies designed to enhance creditworthiness; (3) prevalence of short maturities on international loans; and (4) a prevalence of bank lending relative to bond-market lending

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