Wojtek Paczos, Kirill Shakhnov, 24 September 2020

The sharp reductions in economic output and large-scale government expenditures prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic have led to an enhanced risk of sovereign defaults, especially in emerging economies. This column argues that an output drop alone increases the risk of foreign default, while a sudden expenditure hike alone increases the risk of domestic default. Thus, given the double nature of the Covid shock, recent proposals that would ease the burden of foreign debt after COVID-19 in emerging economies are necessary but may not be sufficient to prevent a wave of defaults on domestic debt.

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