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Sovereign defaults and international trade: Germany and its creditors in the 1930s

Accominotti, Olivier, Albers, Thilo, Kessler, Philippe and Oosterlinck, Kim (2024) Sovereign defaults and international trade: Germany and its creditors in the 1930s. Journal of Historical Political Economy, 3 (4). 459 - 500. ISSN 2693-9290

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Identification Number: 10.1561/115.00000059


This paper argues that international and domestic political economy factors are key determinants of creditor countries’ commercial policy responses to sovereign debt defaults. We illustrate this argument using a unique historical case study: the German external default of the 1930s. Our new historical narrative of this episode reveals that the various creditor countries adopted markedly different trade policy responses to the default depending on their degree of economic leverage on Germany and on the relative political influence of various interest groups within their domestic economy. These factors account for the pattern of Germany’s bilateral trade with the different creditor countries during the 1930s as well as for the differential treatment of various countries’ bondholders by the German government.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 Now Publishers Inc.
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N7 - Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services > N74 - Europe: 1913-
F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F10 - General
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2024 17:27
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 04:20

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