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Debt Relief: Implications of Secondary Market Discounts and Debt Overhangs


  • Cohen, Daniel


An efficient rescheduling of the debt must take into account the market value of the debt. I argue here that the appropriate approach is not to write down the debt to its value on the secondary market, but to scale the flows of payments on the debt. The key to an efficient rescheduling is to offer debt relief reflecting the market discount, where the reliefs is contingent upon the country's adjustment effort ( rather than setting repayment terms "once and for all" as in the Brady plan). I propose, as an example, that stabilization or adjustment programs under the aegis of the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank could include provisions allowing debt servicing or repurchase for a set duration at the secondary market rate. This would both reflect and provide incentives to increase a country's ability to repay. Copyright 1990 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Cohen, Daniel, 1990. "Debt Relief: Implications of Secondary Market Discounts and Debt Overhangs," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(1), pages 43-53, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:4:y:1990:i:1:p:43-53

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aw, Bee Yan & Roberts, Mark J., 1986. "Measuring quality change in quota-constrained import markets: The Case of U.S. Footwear," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 45-60, August.
    2. Bhagwati, Jagdish N & Srinivasan, T N, 1980. "Revenue Seeking: A Generalization of the Theory of Tariffs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(6), pages 1069-1087, December.
    3. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
    4. Taeho Bark & Jaime Melo, 1987. "Export mix adjustment to the imposition of VERs: Alternative license allocation schemes," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 123(4), pages 668-678, December.
    5. McCulloch, Rachel & Johnson, Harry G, 1973. "A Note on Proportionally Distributed Quotas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(4), pages 726-732, September.
    6. Falvey, Rodney E, 1979. "The Composition of Trade within Import-restricted Product Categories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 1105-1114, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Goopu, Sudarshan, 1996. "The analysis of emerging policy issues in development finance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1589, The World Bank.
    2. Gooptu, Sudarshan, 1996. "Emerging policy issues in development finance," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(Supplemen), pages 85-100.
    3. 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.
    4. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1996. "Sovereign debt, structural adjustment, and conditionality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 313-335, August.
    5. Berthelemy, Jean-Claude, 2001. "HIPC Debt Relief and Policy Reform Incentives," WIDER Working Paper Series 105, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Bowe, M. & Dean, J.W., 1997. "Has the Market Solved the Sovereign-Debt Crisis?," Princeton Studies in International Economics 83, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
    7. Oladi, Reza, 2003. "International involuntary lending and contingent default threat," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 237-245.
    8. Robert Powell, 2003. "Debt Relief, Additionality, and Aid Allocation in Low Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 03/175, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Sawada, Yasuyuki, 2001. "Secondary market efficiency for LDC bank loans and international private lending, 1985-1993," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 549-562, August.
    10. 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).
    11. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10905 is not listed on IDEAS

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