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An Empirical Investigation Into the Determinants of External Indebtedness

  • Menbere Workie Tiruneh
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    This paper finds that poverty (the savings gap), income instability, and external factors that include debt service payments and capital flight to be the main causes of overseas borrowing by developing countries in the 1980s and 1990s. As far as the empirical strategy is concerned, the application of a panel data approach seems to be highly preferred, as it allows to control time-specific events that are linked to overseas borrowing, particularly given the rapid changes in the global macroeconomic environment in the past years. Moreover, this strategy helps to produce a more robust explanation by allowing to incorporate country-specific factors as developing countries themselves are heterogeneous in terms of their colonial heritages, geopolitical and strategic significance, and creditworthiness, all affecting the level of indebtedness and the potential bargaining power to manage the subsequent debt crisis.

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    Article provided by University of Economics, Prague in its journal Prague Economic Papers.

    Volume (Year): 2004 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 261-277

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    Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpep:v:2004:y:2004:i:3:id:242:p:261-277
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    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Portes, Richard, 1985. "Debt and Default in the 1930s: Causes and Consequences," CEPR Discussion Papers 75, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Andrew Berg & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "The Debt Crisis: Structural Explanations of Country Performance," NBER Working Papers 2607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. R. Dornbusch, 1984. "External Debt, Budget Deficits and Disequilibrium Exchange Rates," Working papers 347, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    4. Easterly, William, 2002. "How Did Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Become Heavily Indebted? Reviewing Two Decades of Debt Relief," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 1677-1696, October.
    5. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
    6. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis A., 1987. "The external debt repayments problems of LDC's : An econometric model based on panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 205-230.
    7. Claessens, Stijn & Detragiache, Enrica & Kanbur, Ravi & Wickham, Peter, 1996. "Analytical aspects of the debt problems of heavily indebted poor countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1618, The World Bank.
    8. Bacha, Edmar L., 1990. "A three-gap model of foreign transfers and the GDP growth rate in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 279-296, April.
    9. Easterly, William, 1999. "The ghost of financing gap: testing the growth model used in the international financial institutions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 423-438, December.
    10. Taylor, Lance, 1994. "Gap models," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 17-34, October.
    11. Kaushik Basu, 2003. "Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262523442, June.
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