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The Debt-Growth Nexus: a Dynamic Panel Data Estimation

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  • Presbitero Andrea F.

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between external debt and economic growth in developing countries. Notwithstanding a general agreement on theory, empirical evidence is not conclusive and lacks of robustness. This contribution aims to shed more light on the relationship between external debt and economic growth and to draw some policy implication for debt relief. This work highlights the critical role of econometric and methodological issues. The results for a panel of 69 developing countries over the period 1977-2002 support a negative linear relationship between external debt and economic growth, and between debt service and investment. These effects seem to be stronger in the Low-Income Countries than in the overall sample, raising concern about the dramatic effect that debt has on economic performance in the world's poorest countries. Eventually, external debt impairs economic growth through the liquidity constraint, the creation of macroeconomic instability, a reduced total factor productivity, and its effect on macroeconomic policies and institutional development.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Società editrice il Mulino in its journal Rivista italiana degli economisti.

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 417-462

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Handle: RePEc:mul:jqat1f:doi:10.1427/24579:y:2006:i:3:p:417-462

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Keywords: External Debt; HIPC; Debt Relief; Economic Growth.;

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  1. Janvier Nkurunziza & Robert H. Bates, 2003. "Political Institutions and Economic Growth in Africa," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2003-03, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Stephen Bond & Asli Leblebicioglu, 2004. "Capital Accumulation and Growth: A New Look at the Empirical Evidence," Economics Series Working Papers 2004-W08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  4. Hoeffler, Anke E, 2002. " The Augmented Solow Model and the African Growth Debate," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(2), pages 135-58, May.
  5. Gupta, Sanjeev & Clements, Benedict & Baldacci, Emanuele & Mulas-Granados, Carlos, 2005. "Fiscal policy, expenditure composition, and growth in low-income countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 441-463, April.
  6. Hélène Poirson & Luca Antonio Ricci & Catherine A. Pattillo, 2002. "External Debt and Growth," IMF Working Papers 02/69, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
  8. Easterly, William & Loayza, Norman & Montiel, Peter, 1997. "Has Latin America's post-reform growth been disappointing?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1708, The World Bank.
  9. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  10. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond & Frank Windmeijer, 2000. "Estimation in dynamic panel data models: improving on the performance of the standard GMM estimator," IFS Working Papers W00/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
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