BoC–BoE Sovereign Default Database: Methodology and Assumptions
Until recently, few efforts were made to systematically measure and aggregate the nominal value of the different types of sovereign government debt in default. To help fill this gap, the Bank of Canada (BoC), in partnership with the Bank of England (BoE), developed a comprehensive database of sovereign defaults in 2014. The database is posted on the Bank of Canada’s website and updated annually. The BoC–BoE database draws on datasets published by various public and private sector sources. It combines elements of these, together with new information, to develop comprehensive estimates of stocks of government obligations in default. These include bonds and other marketable securities, bank loans and official loans, valued in US dollars, for the years 1960 to 2022 on both a country-by-country and a global basis. In addition, we include country and global data on estimated stocks of domestic arrears—late payments by governments—also valued in US dollars. For most countries, data are from 2000 to 2022. Regular updates of the BoC–BoE database help researchers analyze the economic and financial effects of individual sovereign defaults and, importantly, the impact on global financial stability of episodes involving multiple sovereign defaults.