Economics at your fingertips  

Sovereign Debt and Moral Hazard: The Role of Collective Action and Contractual Uncertainty

Marcel Kahan and Shmuel Leshem

Journal of Law and Economics, 2022, vol. 65, issue 2, 311 - 341

Abstract: The ambiguous phrasing of pari passu (equal treatment) clauses in sovereign debt contracts has long baffled commentators. We show that in the presence of asymmetric information about a sovereign borrower’s ability to pay, an uncertain clause gives rise to a collective-action problem among creditors that can reduce the sovereign’s moral hazard. By varying the clause, parties can calibrate a sovereign’s expected default costs and payments to creditors and thereby optimally trade off the sovereign’s moral hazard and (deadweight) default costs. As information asymmetry decreases, a pari passu clause becomes a coarser instrument for configuring creditors’ incentives and mitigating moral hazard.

Date: 2022
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf) (text/html)
Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Journal of Law and Economics from University of Chicago Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Journals Division ().

Page updated 2022-09-10
Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/718428