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Pitfalls of debt reduction: a counterfactual case study of Zambia during the early 1990s

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  • James Copestake

    (Department of Economics and International Development, University of Bath, UK)

  • Phillip Weston

    (Department of Economics and International Development, University of Bath, UK)

Abstract

Is debt reduction a gift to future generations? The answer depends upon how indebted governments use the extra room for manoeuvre it confers upon them. The paper explores this issue through a historical counterfactual case study. In 1991 a new Zambian government was democratically elected on a reform platform that corresponded closely to donor|creditor prescriptions. The paper casts doubt on whether more substantial debt reduction at that time would have improved long-term prospects for the Zambian economy, increased public health and education spending, or strengthened the government's political accountability. This suggests, in turn, that it would probably have done little to improve prospects for future generations of Zambians. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 12 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 585-600

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:12:y:2000:i:4:p:585-600

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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  1. Younger, Stephen D., 1992. "Aid and the Dutch disease: Macroeconomic management when everybody loves you," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(11), pages 1587-1597, November.
  2. Deshpande, Ashwini, 1997. "The debt overhang and the disincentive to invest," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 169-187, February.
  3. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
  4. Bates, Robert H & Collier, Paul, 1995. "The Politics and Economics of Policy Reform in Zambia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 4(1), pages 115-43, May.
  5. J. Stiglitz, 1998. "More Instruments and Broader Goals: Moving toward the PostWashington Consensus," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 8.
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Cited by:
  1. Wobst, Peter & Thurlow, James, 2005. "The Road to Pro-Poor Growth in Zambia: Past Lessons and Future Challenges," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Kiel 2005 37, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.

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