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The role of debt profile vulnerabilities in sovereign distress

Mariusz Jarmuzek () and Esteban R. Vesperoni

Applied Economics Letters, 2018, vol. 25, issue 13, 928-935

Abstract: Sovereign debt distress has raised difficult issues in terms of debt sustainability in the past, but it has been associated not only with medium-term debt dynamics, but also with various dimensions of the debt profile that have typically built vulnerabilities over time. Vulnerabilities associated with the public debt structure and liquidity may play an important role in derailing a stable debt trajectory and thus contribute to debt distress. Financial developments may also contribute to the building in sovereign debt vulnerabilities, as deterioration in financial stability indicators can affect the balance sheet of the national treasury. Based on the experience during 37 debt distress events in countries with market access between 1993 and 2010, this article identifies early warning indicators of sovereign debt distress and defines thresholds – for the whole sample and for different regions – at which these latter have been associated with distress in the past. This approach allows us to assess indicators on an individual basis, and to develop a composite indicator of debt vulnerabilities as well.

Date: 2018
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