The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper presents a theory of the maturity of international sovereign debt and derives its implications for the reform of the international financial architecture. It presents a general equilibrium model in which the need to roll over external debt disciplines the policies of debtor countries but makes them vulnerable to unwarranted debt crises owing to bad shocks. The paper presents a welfare analysis of several measures that have been discussed in recent debates, such as the adoption of renegotiation-friendly clauses in debt contracts and the establishment of an international bankruptcy regime for sovereigns.