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Interest rates, official lending, and the debt crisis: A reassessment

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  • Demirguc-Kunt, Asli
  • Detragiache, Enrica

Abstract

The authors document and try to explain the sizable cross-country differences in interest rates on external debt paid by a group of highly indebted developing countries in 1973-89. They find that Indonesia and Turkey, which are often praised for not rescheduling in the 1980s, paid interest rates substantially below LIBOR - and avoided the interest rate shock of the early 1980s. Differences in the default-risk premium explain some of the variation among countries, but different degrees of access to official loans carrying highly subsidized interest rates played the major role. In the sample they studied, they found no evidence that debt at floating interest rates was more expensive than debt at fixed rates. For the period 1981-89, it is possible to control for differences in the currency composition of debt, and the results are essentially unchanged. These results suggest that studies of economic performance among the highly indebted countries during the debt crisis should control for cross-country differences in the burden of interest payments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (1994)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 263-285

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:44:y:1994:i:2:p:263-285

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References

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  1. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1989. "Debt Problems and the World Macroeconomy," NBER Chapters, in: Developing Country Debt and Economic Performance, Volume 1: The International Financial System, pages 331-358 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jeremy A.Rogoff Bulow & Kenneth, 1986. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 43, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  3. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Scholarly Articles 12491028, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
  5. Huizinga, Harry, 1991. "Withholding taxes and international bank credit terms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 765, The World Bank.
  6. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  7. Detragiache, Enrica, 1992. "Optimal loan contracts and floating-rate debt in international lending to LDCs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1241-1261, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Steven B. Kamin & K von Kleist, 1999. "The evolution and determinants of emerging markets credit spreads in the 1990s," BIS Working Papers 68, Bank for International Settlements.
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Raquel Fernandez, 1995. "Sovereign Debt," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 59, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  3. Hussein, Khaled A. & de Mello, Luiz Jr., 2001. "Is foreign debt portfolio management efficient in emerging economies?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 317-335, October.
  4. Khaled Hussein, 2001. "Is Foreign Debt Portfolio Management Efficient in Emerging Economies?," IMF Working Papers 01/121, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Iscan, Talan B, 2000. "Financing Constraints and Investment Decline in Mexico," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 68(1), pages 24-43, January.
  6. Steven B. Kamin & Karsten von Kleist, 1999. "The evolution and determinants of emerging market credit spreads in the 1990s," International Finance Discussion Papers 653, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Klimenko, Mikhail M., 2002. "Trade interdependence, the international financial institutions, and the recent evolution of sovereign-debt renegotiations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 177-209, October.

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