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Developing country borrowing and domestic wealth

  • Mark Gertler
  • Kenneth Rogoff

We show that across developing countries, external debt to private creditors rises more than proportionately with income. We then develop a simple theoretical model consistent with this phenomenon and also consistent with the well-documented relationship between capital market development and growth. Our framework stresses information asymmetries at the level of individual borrowers as the source of frictions in world capital markets. Because of moral hazard problems, marginal products of capital and borrowing-lending spreads are higher in poorer countries. In a two-country version of the model, we demonstrate the possibility of a siphoning effect which exacerbates the costs of transfers. Also because of the siphoning effect, increased wealth in the rich country can stunt investment in the poor country.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (1989)
Issue (Month): ()

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:1989:x:4
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  1. Dixit, Avinash, 1987. "Trade and insurance with moral hazard," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 201-220, November.
  2. Andrew Atkeson, 2010. "International lending with moral hazard and risk of repudiation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 200, David K. Levine.
  3. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
  4. Jeremy Greenwood & Stephen D. Williamson, 1988. "International financial intermediation and aggregate fluctuations under alternative exchange rate regimes," Staff Report 112, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  6. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Capital mobility in the world economy: Theory and measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 55-103, January.
  7. Fernandez, R. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1988. "Sovereign-Debt Renegotiations: A Strtegic Analysis," Papers 85, Boston University - Center for Latin American Development Studies.
  8. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  9. Gertler, Mark, 1988. "Financial Structure and Aggregate Economic Activity: An Overview," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(3), pages 559-88, August.
  10. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & MacArthur, Alan T., 1988. "Political vs. currency premia in international real interest differentials : A study of forward rates for 24 countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1083-1114, June.
  11. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  12. Jeremy A.Rogoff Bulow & Kenneth, 1986. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 43, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  13. Stulz, ReneM., 1986. "Capital mobility in the world economy: Theory and measurement A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 105-113, January.
  14. repec:att:wimass:8820 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Mark Gertler, 1988. "Financial Capacity, Reliquification, and Production in an Economy with Long-Term Financial Arrangements," NBER Working Papers 2763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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