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The Millenium Development Goals and Sovereign Debt Write-downs

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  • Sayantan Ghosal
  • Kannika Thampanishvong

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Abstract

Can sovereign debt write-downs be used to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)? This paper shows that transparency of domestic governance determines how a sovereign debt write-down is structured to attain the MDGs. When domestic governance is transparent, an unconditional debt write-down enhances non-elites’ welfare. Without such transparency, conditions that directly link the debt write-down to public goods that improve non-elites’ welfare are required. In the latter case, in a dynamic setting, the debt write-down also has to be directly linked to the amount of new debt issued. Using our formal analysis, we evaluate the efficacy of the current debt relief initiatives and discuss some policy implications.

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Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 200718.

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Date of creation: 15 Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:0718

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Keywords: Debt Write-down; Representativeness; Transparency; Conditionality; Millennium Development Goals.;

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  1. Nancy Birdsall & John Williamson, 2002. "Delivering on Debt Relief: From IMF Gold to a New Aid Architecture," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 337, July.
  2. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2002. "Resolving the Debt Crisis of Low-Income Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 257-286.
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