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Comparative Fiscal Response Effects Of Debt Relief: An Application To African Hipcs

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  • Danny Cassimon
  • Bjorn Van campenhout

Abstract

As part of the efforts of the international donor community to scale up aid to Africa, substantial debt relief has been granted in recent years through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and its successor, the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. This paper tries to assess, for a sample of 24 African countries that have at least reached decision point status in the HIPC Initiative, to what extent this debt relief has created fiscal space in recipient country budgets, and what, on average, the actual fiscal response effects have been, relative to other types of aid. Inspired by the fiscal response literature, we model public finance behaviour as a system of structural equations and estimate the reduced form parameters in a Vector Autoregressive framework. In general, we are unable to find evidence that debt relief might provoke no or even perverse fiscal responses. On average, debt relief affects public finance behaviour in a desired way, with effects being most similar to those of its most direct substitute, programme grants. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2008 Economic Society of South Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Danny Cassimon & Bjorn Van campenhout, 2008. "Comparative Fiscal Response Effects Of Debt Relief: An Application To African Hipcs," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(3), pages 427-442, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:76:y:2008:i:3:p:427-442
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. berlage, Lodewijk & cassimon, Danny & dreze, Jacques & Reding, Paul, 2003. "Prospective Aid and Indebtedness Relief: A Proposal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1635-1654, October.
    2. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1991. "Sovereign Debt Repurchases: No Cure for Overhang," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1219-1235.
    3. Robert Osei & Oliver Morrissey & Tim Lloyd, 2005. "The fiscal effects of aid in Ghana," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 1037-1053.
    4. Pack, Howard & Pack, Janet Rothenberg, 1993. "Foreign Aid and the Question of Fungibility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 258-265, May.
    5. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
    6. Nancy Birdsall & Stijn Claessens & Ishac Diwan, 2003. "Policy Selectivity Forgone: Debt and Donor Behavior in Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(3), pages 409-435, December.
    7. Mark McGillivray & Oliver Morrissey, 2000. "Aid fungibility in Assessing Aid: red herring or true concern?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 413-428, April.
    8. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
    9. Heller, Peter S, 1975. "A Model of Public Fiscal Behavior in Developing Countries: Aid, Investment, and Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 429-445, June.
    10. Mark McGillivray & Bazoumana Ouattara, 2005. "Aid, Debt Burden and Government Fiscal Behaviour in Côte d'Ivoire," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(2), pages 247-269, June.
    11. Danny Cassimon & Bjorn Van Campenhout, 2007. "Aid Effectiveness, Debt Relief and Public Finance Response: Evidence from a Panel of HIPC Countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 143(4), pages 742-763, December.
    12. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. King, Alan & Ramlogan-Dobson, Carlyn, 2015. "Is Africa Actually Developing?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 598-613.
    2. Marc Raffinot & Baptiste Venet, 2013. "Low Income Countries, Credit Rationing and Debt Relief: Bye bye international financial market?," Working Papers DT/2013/03, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    3. Danny Cassimon & Marin Ferry & Marc Raffinot & Bjorn Van Campenhout, 2013. "Dynamic fiscal impact of the debt relief initiatives on african heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs)," Working Papers DT/2013/01, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    4. Danny Cassimon & Dennis Essers & Karel Verbeke, 2015. "What to do after the clean slate? Post-relief public debt sustainability and management," BeFinD Working Papers 0103, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    5. repec:nam:befdwp:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cassimon, Danny & Van Campenhout, Bjorn & Ferry, Marin & Raffinot, Marc, 2015. "Africa: Out of debt, into fiscal space? Dynamic fiscal impact of the debt relief initiatives on African Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs)," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 29-52.
    7. Marin Ferry, 2015. "The Carrot and Stick Approach to Debt Relief : Overcoming Moral Hazard," Working Papers DT/2015/14, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    8. Geske Dijkstra, 2013. "What Did US$18 bn Achieve? The 2005 Debt Relief to Nigeria," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 31(5), pages 553-574, September.
    9. Joshua C. Hall & Serkan Karadas & Minh Tam T. Schlosky, 2016. "Is There Moral Hazard in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative Debt Relief Process?," Working Papers 16-24, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    10. Johansson, Pernilla, 2010. "Debt Relief, Investment and Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1204-1216, September.
    11. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10905 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Marin Ferry & Marc Raffinot & Baptiste Venet, 2016. "Low Income Countries and External Public Financing : Does Debt Relief Change Anything?," Working Papers DT/2016/16, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    13. Danny Cassimon & Marin Ferry & Marc Raffinot & Bjorn Van Campenhout, 2017. "Dynamic Fiscal Impact of The Debt Relief Initiatives on African Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs)," Working Papers hal-01489613, HAL.

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