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Is History a Blessing or a Curse? International Borrowing without Commitment, Leapfrogging and Growth Reversals

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  • Raouf Boucekkine

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579)

  • Patrick-Antoine Pintus

    ()
    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579)

Abstract

We develop a simple open-economy AK model with collateral constraints that accounts for growth-reversal episodes, during which countries face abrupt changes in their growth rate that lead to either growth miracles or growth disasters. Absent commitment to investment by the borrowing country, imperfect contract enforcement leads to an informational lag such that the debt contracted upon today depends upon the past stock of capital. The no-commitment delay originates a history effect by which the richer a country has been in the past, the more it can borrow today. For (arbitrarily) small deviations from perfect contract enforcement, the history effect offsets the growth benefits from international borrowing and dampens growth, and it leads to leapfrogging in long-run levels. When large enough, the history effect originates growth reversals and we connect the latter to leapfrogging. Finally, we argue that the model accords with the reported evidence on growth disasters and growth accelerations. We also provide examples showing that leapfrogging and growth reversals may coexist, so that currently poor but fast-growing countries experiencing sharp growth reversals may end up, in the long-run, significantly richer than currently rich but declining countries.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00535592.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00535592

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Related research

Keywords: Growth Reversals; Leapfrogging; International Borrowing; Open Economies;

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  1. Romain Ranciere & Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann, 2005. "Systemic Crises and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 1451, CESifo Group Munich.
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Cited by:
  1. BOUCEKKINE, Raouf & FABBRI, Giorgio & PINTUS, Patrick, . "On the optimal control of a linear neutral differential equation arising in economics," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2449, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Mauro Bambi & Omar Licandro, 2011. "Endogenous Growth and Wave-Like Business Fluctuation," Working Papers 533, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

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