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Interest rates, official lending, and the debt crisis: A reassessment

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  • Demirguc-Kunt, Asli
  • Detragiache, Enrica

Abstract

The authors document and try to explain the sizable cross-country differences in interest rates on external debt paid by a group of highly indebted developing countries in 1973-89. They find that Indonesia and Turkey, which are often praised for not rescheduling in the 1980s, paid interest rates substantially below LIBOR - and avoided the interest rate shock of the early 1980s. Differences in the default-risk premium explain some of the variation among countries, but different degrees of access to official loans carrying highly subsidized interest rates played the major role. In the sample they studied, they found no evidence that debt at floating interest rates was more expensive than debt at fixed rates. For the period 1981-89, it is possible to control for differences in the currency composition of debt, and the results are essentially unchanged. These results suggest that studies of economic performance among the highly indebted countries during the debt crisis should control for cross-country differences in the burden of interest payments.
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Suggested Citation

  • Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Detragiache, Enrica, 1994. "Interest rates, official lending, and the debt crisis: A reassessment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 263-285, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:44:y:1994:i:2:p:263-285
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-178, February.
    2. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    3. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1989. "Debt Problems and the World Macroeconomy," NBER Chapters,in: Developing Country Debt and Economic Performance, Volume 1: The International Financial System, pages 331-358 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Detragiache, Enrica, 1992. "Optimal loan contracts and floating-rate debt in international lending to LDCs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1241-1261, August.
    5. Huizinga, Harry, 1991. "Withholding taxes and international bank credit terms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 765, The World Bank.
    6. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
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    Cited by:

    1. Klimenko, Mikhail M., 2002. "Trade interdependence, the international financial institutions, and the recent evolution of sovereign-debt renegotiations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 177-209, October.
    2. Eaton, Jonathan & Fernandez, Raquel, 1995. "Sovereign debt," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 2031-2077 Elsevier.
    3. Steven B. Kamin & K von Kleist, 1999. "The evolution and determinants of emerging markets credit spreads in the 1990s," BIS Working Papers 68, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Iscan, Talan B, 2000. "Financing Constraints and Investment Decline in Mexico," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 68(1), pages 24-43, January.
    5. Hussein, Khaled A. & de Mello, Luiz Jr., 2001. "Is foreign debt portfolio management efficient in emerging economies?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 317-335, October.
    6. Khaled Hussein, 2001. "Is Foreign Debt Portfolio Management Efficient in Emerging Economies?," IMF Working Papers 01/121, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Steven B. Kamin & Karsten von Kleist, 1999. "The evolution and determinants of emerging market credit spreads in the 1990s," International Finance Discussion Papers 653, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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