The authors find that, conditional on a level of foreign indebtedness, more capital improves the sovereign’s ability to meet its obligations, reducing the likelihood of default and the risk premium. This effect, however, is diminishing in the stock of capital because capital also tames the severity of the contraction following default, making autarky more appealing. Access to long-term debt and costly capital adjustment are crucial for matching business cycles. Their quantitative model delivers default episodes that mimic those observed in the data.