Sovereign Debt Disputes: A Database on Government Coerciveness During Debt Crises
This paper measures “debt disputes” between governments and foreign private creditors in periods of sovereign debt crises. We construct an index of government coerciveness, consisting of 9 objective sub-indicators. Each of these sub-indicators captures unilateral government actions imposed on foreign banks and bondholders. The results provide the first systematic account of debt crises that goes beyond a binary categorization of default versus non-default. Overall, government behavior and rhetoric show a strong variability, ranging from highly confrontational to very smooth crisis resolution processes. In a preliminary analysis on the determinants of coercive behavior, we find political insti- tutions to be significant, while economic and financial factors play a lesser role. These results open up an agenda for future research.