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.
Christoph Trebesch, Michael Papaioannou, and Udaibir Das
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper provides a comprehensive survey of pertinent issues on sovereign debt restructurings, based on a newly constructed database. This is the first complete dataset of sovereign restructuring cases, covering the six decades from 1950-2010; it includes 186 debt exchanges with foreign banks and bondholders, and 447 bilateral debt agreements with the Paris Club. We present new stylized facts on the outcome and process of debt restructurings, including on the size of haircuts, creditor participation, and legal aspects. In addition, the paper summarizes the relevant empirical literature, analyzes recent restructuring episodes, and discusses ongoing debates on crisis resolution mechanisms, credit default swaps, and the role of collective action clauses.