Essays on Institutions, Firm Funding and Sovereign Debt

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Adams Adama


This thesis explores the effects of institutions on macroeconomic performance. It does so in two main chapters, a summary of each of which is given below. In the first main chapter of the thesis, the interactions between government spending, government borrowing, political corruption and political turnover were examined. Incorporating these factors in a sovereign default model, we show how sovereign default decisions and business cycle fluctuations are affected by the level of corruption. In particular, we show that when there is turnover, corruption can generate higher risks of default and higher credit spreads when there is enough stability. Intuitively, we establish that a change in power from a less corrupt to a more corrupt government is more likely to cause default than the reverse. The results also shows that households suffer welfare losses as a result of corruption. As regards business cycles, the general effect of corruption is to alter business cycle statistics. Further, we estimate an empirical model using data on sovereign default, corruption, political stability and other macroeconomic variables for a sample of emerging economies. The results of this provide strong evidence of a positive relationship between both corruption and political stability and sovereign default.The second main chapter of the thesis looks at the effects of limited financial contract enforcement in a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium framework where firms have access to both internal and external means of finance. The results shows how limited enforceability affects fluctuations in key macroeconomic variables (e.g., output, employment and price) through its impact on key financial variables (e.g., interest rates, risk premium, default risk and leverage). In particular, we find that weaker enforcement tends to amplify the effects of shocks, creating greater volatility, as well as lowering small firm funding. We provide some empirical evidence to support our results. Using cross-country data on measures of financial market imperfections, we find that limited enforcement has a negative effect on output and that this effect is exacerbated by poor credit information. We also find that weaker contract enforcement is associated with higher output volatility.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2017