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Debt and Economic Growth in South Asia


Author Info

  • Rehana Siddiqui

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

  • Afia Malik

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)


After 1980s, in most developing countries, the rate of debt accumulation and increase in debt servicing are highlighted as major factors affecting the growth rate of output. Most of these countries lost their competitiveness in the international market mainly as a result of insufficient exchange rate adjustments. In addition, the weakening of terms of trade, economic mismanagement and crisis of governance also lowered growth rates in the developing countries. The downward pressure was larger in the countries facing higher debt burden as these countries faced higher interest rates, decline in the external resource inflow, lower export earnings, lower domestic output and lower imports. In case of South Asian countries, the external debt scenario has changed over time. According to World Bank (2001) Pakistan’s ranking worsened to ‘severely-indebted low income country’ from ‘moderately-indebted low income country’ in 1997, where as India’s ranking improved to ‘less indebted low income’ country from ‘moderately indebted’ in 1997. The rapid accumulation of debt, rising repayment burden and the economically and politically resource inflow or rescheduling motivated rescheduling of debt (as in case of Pakistan) has raised concerns regarding the impact of debt on the growth process of the South Asian countries. Khanobis and Bari (2001) claim that foreign resource inflow increased the resource availability and as a result it contributed to economic growth in South Asia. However, the study does not examine the effect of debt accumulation on economic growth. In this paper, given the diversity of growth experience, we examine the impact of rising debt burden on economic growth of South Asian countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 40 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 677-688

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:40:y:2001:i:4:p:677-688

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  1. A.R. Kemal, 1975. "Eliminating Dependence on Foreign AidSome Policy Implications," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 14(4), pages 381-396.
  2. Howard White, 1992. "What do we know about aid's macroeconomic impact? An overview of the aid effectiveness debate," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(2), pages 121-137, 03.
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Cited by:
  1. Xuan Changyong & Sun Jun & Yan Chen, 2012. "Foreign debt, economic growth and economic crisis," Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 157-167, June.
  2. John Gowdy & Aneel Salman, 2007. "Climate Change and Economic Development: A Pragmatic Approach (Invited Lecture)," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 46(4), pages 337-350.
  3. Mihaela P?CESIL?, 2013. "Analysis Of The Balkan Countries Policy On Renewable Energy Sources: The Case Of Bulgaria, Romania And Greece," Management Research and Practice, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 5(1), pages 49-66, March.
  4. Ramzan, Muhammad & Ahmad, Eatzaz, 2014. "External debt growth nexus: Role of macroeconomic polices," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 204-210.
  5. A. R. Kemal, 2005. "Macroeconomic Management: Breaking out of the Debt Trap," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 10(Special E), pages 45-62, September.
  6. Mohammad Morshedur RAHMAN & Mohammad Abul BASHAR & Suman DEY, 2012. "External Debt And Gross Domestic Product In Bangladesh: A Co-Integration Analysis," Management Research and Practice, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 4(4), pages 28-36, December.
  7. Hanif, Muhammad N., 2002. "Public Debt Management," MPRA Paper 10212, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. A. R. Kemal, 2001. "Debt Accumulation and Its Implications for Growth and Poverty," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 40(4), pages 263-281.
  9. Muhammad Iftikhar ul Husnain, 2010. "Expenditure-Growth Nexus: Does the Source of Finance Matter? Empirical Evidence from Selected South Asian Countries," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 631–640.


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