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Domestic public debt in emerging markets from the first financial globalization to the interwar: 1880-1945

Grant number: 22/12918-1
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2024 - December 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Economics
Convênio/Acordo: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
Principal Investigator:Leonardo Weller
Grantee:Leonardo Weller
Principal researcher abroad: Rui Pedro Ferreira da Costa Esteves
Institution abroad: Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland
Host Institution: Escola de Economia de São Paulo (EESP). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Ali Coskun Tuncer


This project studies the domestic public debt of emerging nations, a largely understudied topic, from 1880 to 1945, during the First Financial Globalization and the Interwar. It assesses why some governments borrowed more at home than others, and what was the relation between domestic and external debt. We will build a comprehensive database on domestic debt issued by 27 capital-importing countries located in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The database will contain annual information at the bond level: market prices, outstanding amounts, and contractual characteristics such as collateral and legal guarantees. The data on prices will come from the Crédit Lyonnais Collection, held at the Geneva Graduate Institute. We will gather data on domestic bond issues from financial yearbooks, official publications, and lending contracts. We will use this data to publish three articles: one documenting the methodological challenges of constructing a historical cross-country dataset; a second explaining the rise of domestic debt and why it was more important in some countries or periods than others; and a third article comparing domestic and external debt in terms of their cost and market performance over time. We will also organize an international workshop in Geneva and a winter school in São Paulo. (AU)

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