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Debt Forgiveness: the Case for Hyper-Incentive Contracts

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  • Douglas Menzies, G.

Abstract

We review two proposals for debt forgiveness; the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC) and the Jubilee 2000 Coalition Initiative (J2K). We then consider the workhorse model of debt forgiveness (Krugman 1988). We show that the workhorse model solution is a sub-optimal contract, where the incentive parameter is set without regard to the cost of effort. A fully-optimal debt-overhang contract is derived, with an incentive parameter greater than the marginal social benefit of extra effort. The so-named Hyper-Incentive Contract eliminates the effects of moral hazard arising from hidden effort, and provides a fuller rationale for case-by-case debt-overhang contracts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 9937.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:9937

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Keywords: CONTRACTS ; DEBT ; MODELS;

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References

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  1. Cole, Harold L & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1998. "Models of Sovereign Debt: Partial versus General Reputations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 55-70, February.
  2. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Kaminsky, Graciela L., 1991. "Debt relief and debt rescheduling : The optimal-contract approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 5-36, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Michaelowa, Katharina, 2003. " The Political Economy of the Enhanced HIPC-Initiative," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(3-4), pages 461-76, March.
  2. Idlemouden, Khadija & Raffinot, Marc, 2005. "Le fardeau virtuel de la dette extérieure. Une revue de la littérature à l'aune de l'initiative « pays pauvres très endettés » (PPTE)," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4089, Paris Dauphine University.

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