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The Debt Crisis: A Postmortem

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7

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  • Daniel Cohen

Abstract

In the first part of the paper I calculate the returns on developing countries' debt obtained by their (private and public) creditors (when taking account of the transfers already generated and of the liquidative value of the debt) and show that they are satisfactory. I then evaluate the conflict of interest between private and public creditors and assess the role of the Brady Plan as a vehicle to achieving a `grand settlement' of the debt crisis. I argue that they are not as satisfactory. In the second part of the paper I show that the group of reschedulers did suffer from lower growth in the 1980s, but I also show that their rate of capital accumulation did not accelerate in the years before the debt crisis. I evaluate the extent to which sovereign risk, rather than low returns, explains the failure of foreign finance to accelerate capital accumulation in the large debtor countries.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1992. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blan92-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10991.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10991

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    1. Eaton, Jonathan, 1990. "Debt Relief and the International Enforcement of Loan Contracts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 43-56, Winter.
    2. Ishac Diwan & Dani Rodrik, 1992. "Debt Reduction, Adjustment Lending, and Burden Sharing," NBER Working Papers 4007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sule Ozler & Harry Huizinga, 1992. "Bank Exposure, Capital and Secondary Market Discounts on the Developing Country Debt," NBER Working Papers 3961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kenen, Peter B, 1990. "Organizing Debt Relief: The Need for a New Institution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 7-18, Winter.
    5. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Cleaning Up Third World Debt without Getting Taken to the Cleaners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 31-42, Winter.
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