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External debt and economic reform: does a pain reliever delay the necessary treatment?


  • Athanasios Vamvakidis


Recent literature argues that conflict in shifting adjustment costs between different socioeconomic groups delays necessary reforms and finds that such reforms often follow economic crises. This paper expands these models by including external borrowing by the private sector and shows that this may lead to a further delay in economic reform. Empirical evidence based on a large panel of developing and emerging economies supports this argument and shows that the result is slower economic growth. External financing sometimes acts like a “pain reliever”, postponing the much needed “treatment” of a “sick” economy by reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Athanasios Vamvakidis, 2008. "External debt and economic reform: does a pain reliever delay the necessary treatment?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 187-199.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecprf:v:11:y:2008:i:3:p:187-199 DOI: 10.1080/17487870802405409

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. G. E. Boyle & T. G. McCARTHY, 1999. "Simple measures of convergence in per capita GDP: a note on some further international evidence," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(6), pages 343-347.
    2. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
    3. Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Do Old Fallacies Ever Die?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2129-2132, December.
    4. Gerry Boyle; & Tom McCarthy, 1997. "Simple Measures of Convergence in Per Capita GDP: A Note on Some Further International Evidence," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n751197, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    5. M. Alam, 1992. "Convergence in developed countries: an empirical investigation," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 128(2), pages 189-201, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fuhmei Wang, 2009. "The effects of foreign borrowing policies on economic growth: success or failure?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 273-284.

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    external debt; economic reform; economic growth;


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