NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?

Fernando A. Broner, Guido Lorenzoni, Sergio L. Schmukler

NBER Working Paper No. 13076
Issued in May 2007
NBER Program(s):   EFG   IFM

We argue that emerging economies borrow short term due to the high risk premium charged by bondholders on long-term debt. First, we present a model where the debt maturity structure is the outcome of a risk sharing problem between the government and bondholders. By issuing long-term debt, the government lowers the probability of a rollover crisis, transferring risk to bondholders. In equilibrium, this risk is reflected in a higher risk premium and borrowing cost. Therefore, the government faces a trade-off between safer long-term debt and cheaper short-term debt. Second, we construct a new database of sovereign bond prices and issuance. We show that emerging economies pay a positive term premium (a higher risk premium on long-term bonds than on short-term bonds). During crises, the term premium increases, with issuance shifting towards shorter maturities. The evidence suggests that international investors' time-varying risk aversion is crucial to understand the debt structure in emerging economies.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13076

Published: Fernando A. Broner & Guido Lorenzoni & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2013. "Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 67-100, 01. citation courtesy of

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