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Why Not Default?$
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Jerome Roos

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691180106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691180106.001.0001

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A Critical Political Economy Approach

A Critical Political Economy Approach

(p.40) Two A Critical Political Economy Approach
Why Not Default?

Jerome Roos

Princeton University Press

In economics literature, competing explanations of debtor compliance have one thing in common, that is, they have so far largely sidestepped overtly social and political questions such as, who benefits from default? Who benefits from repayment? How do different groups assess whether they are likely to lose or win out? One can begin to craft a more nuanced understanding of the deeper dynamics behind the international regime of cross-border contract enforcement only by taking a closer look at the redistributive implications of default and repayment, and the resultant political struggles between different social groups over the appropriate course of action to be taken. This chapter presents the basic theoretical contours of a sociologically informed critical political economy perspective that foregrounds these underlying power differentials, and the related distributional conflicts over who gets to call the shots and who gets to bear the burden of adjustment in times of fiscal distress.

Keywords:   debtor compliance, external debt, cross-border contract, contract enforcement, default, repayment, fiscal distress

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