Economists explore 200 years of data on sovereign defaults

“Serial restructurings” are on the rise, with investors taking an average haircut of 45%

Carmen Reinhart
Carmen Reinhart
World Economic Forum/Christian Clavadetscher

Economists explore 200 years of data on sovereign defaults in a new paper, finding the degree of pain suffered by both the defaulter and their creditors varies widely over time.

In the working paper, Clemens Graf von Luckner, Josefin Meyer, Carmen Reinhart and Christoph Trebesch analyse 327 sovereign debt restructurings from 1815–2023. The authors argue past research has taken a binary approach to debt restructurings – crisis or no crisis – whereas they find a “striking dispersion” of creditor

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