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Sovereign Debt In The Americas: New Data and Stylized Facts

Kevin Cowan (), Eduardo Levy Yeyati (), Ugo Panizza and Federico Sturzenegger

Business School Working Papers from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella

Abstract: In this paper, we introduce the first comprehensive database on sovereign debt systematically compiled to ensure comparability, for all countries in the Americas, and use this new data to highlight the main stylized facts regarding sovereign debt for developing America in the last two decades. We find that debt ratios in developing America are comparable to those in developed countries and have remained stable since the late nineties. By contrast, the composition of debt in the region has changed significantly, shifting from foreign currency external to local currency domestic debt. This onshoring and dedollarization of sovereign debt, contrary to conventional wisdom, has not come at the expense of a shortening of maturities. Furthermore, we find that onshoring is correlated with the level economic development and country size, and with the presence of institutional investors.

Date: 2006-06
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