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External Debt and Growth

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  • Catherine Pattillo
  • Hélène Poirson
  • Luca Antonio Ricci

Abstract

This paper assesses the non linear impact of external debt on growth using panel data for 93 developing countries. The estimates support a non-linear, hump-shaped, relationship between debt and growth, especially when the debt burden is measured relative to GDP. For a country with average indebtedness, doubling the debt ratio reduces growth by a third to a half percentage point after controlling for endogeneity. Our findings also suggest that the average impact of debt becomes negative at about 160–170 percent of exports or 35–40 percent of GDP and the marginal impact of debt at about half of these values.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Pattillo & Hélène Poirson & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2011. "External Debt and Growth," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:pia:review:v:2:y:2011:i:3:n:2
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    growth; external debt; debt relief; HIPC initiative;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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