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The Debt-Growth Nexus: a Dynamic Panel Data Estimation

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  • Andrea PRESBITERO

    () (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between external debt and economic growth in poor countries. The adverse effects of external debt on economic performance are due to the crowding out of public investment and to the disincentive effects, because of debt overhang and uncertainty. Notwithstanding a general agreement on theory, empirical evidence is not conclusive and lacks of robustness. This contribution aims to shed more light on the relationship between external debt and economic growth and to draw some policy implication for debt relief. This work highlights the critical role of econometric and methodological issues. The results for a panel of 152 developing countries over the period 1977-2002 support a negative linear relationship between external debt and economic growth, and between debt service and investment. These effects are found to be stronger in the Low-Income Countries than in the overall sample, raising concern about the dramatic effect that debt has on economic performance in the world's poorest countries. In LICs, a debt reduction from a debt-to-exports ratio of 300 to the HIPC threshold of 150 is estimated to add more than one percentage point to per capita GDP growth, and a debt service reduction is found to be more than two times more effective than an equal increase in foreign aid. Eventually, external debt impairs economic growth through the liquidity constraint, the creation of macroeconomic instability, the lower efficiency of investment, and its effect on macroeconomic policies and institutional development.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea PRESBITERO, 2005. "The Debt-Growth Nexus: a Dynamic Panel Data Estimation," Working Papers 243, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  • Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:243
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    Cited by:

    1. Shaukat, Mughees & Othman Alhabshi, Datuk, 2015. "Instability of Interest Bearing Debt Finance and the Islamic Finance Alternative By Mughees Shaukat & Datuk Othman Alhabshi," Islamic Economic Studies, The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), vol. 23, pages 29-84.
    2. Dosi, Giovanni & Fagiolo, Giorgio & Napoletano, Mauro & Roventini, Andrea & Treibich, Tania, 2015. "Fiscal and monetary policies in complex evolving economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 166-189.
    3. Presbitero, Andrea F., 2008. "The Debt-Growth Nexus in Poor Countries: A Reassessment," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-28.
    4. Andrea F. Presbitero, 2009. "Debt-Relief Effectiveness and Institution-Building," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 27(5), pages 529-559, September.
    5. Francesco Aiello & Valeria Pupo, 2009. "Structural Funds And Economic Divide In Italy," Working Papers 200914, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    6. Ben Naceur, Sami & Bakardzhieva, Damyana & Kamar, Bassem, 2012. "Disaggregated Capital Flows and Developing Countries’ Competitiveness," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 223-237.
    7. Cordella, Tito & Missale, Alessandro, 2013. "To give or to forgive? Aid versus debt relief," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 504-528.
    8. Winston Moore & Chrystol Thomas, 2010. "A meta-analysis of the relationship between debt and growth," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 9(3), pages 214-225, September.
    9. Qayyum, Unbreen & Din, Musleh-ud & Haider, Adnan, 2014. "Foreign aid, external debt and governance," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 41-52.
    10. Valeria Pupo & Francesco Aiello, 2009. "L'impatto della politica regionale dell'Unione Europea. Uno studio sulle regioni italiane," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 421-454.
    11. Shaukat, Mughees & Mirakhor, Abbas & Krichene, Noureddine, 2013. "Fragility Of Interest-Based Debt Financing: Is It Worth Sustaining A Regime Uncertainty?," MPRA Paper 56362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. repec:agr:journl:v:4(605):y:2015:i:4(605):p:189-198 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Aiello, Francesco & Pupo, Valeria, 2012. "Structural funds and the economic divide in Italy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 403-418.
    14. Walid BENAYED & Foued Badr GABSI & Samia OMRANE BELGUITH, 2015. "Threshold Effect of Public Debt on Domestic Investment: Evidence from Selected African Countries," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(4(605), W), pages 189-198, Winter.
    15. Hwang, Jen-Te & Chung, Chien-Ping & Wang, Chieh-Hsuan, 2010. "Debt Overhang, Financial Sector Development And Economic Growth," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 51(1), pages 13-30, June.
    16. Rao, B. Bhaskara & Sharma, K.L. & Singh, Rup & Lata, Nalini, 2007. "A Survey of Growth and Development Issues of the Pacific Islands," WIDER Working Paper Series 034, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    17. Andrea Filippo Presbitero, 2009. "The 2008-2009 Financial Crisis and the HIPCs: Another Debt Crisis?," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 29, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    18. Asit Mohanty & Suresh Kumar Patra & Satyendra Kumar & Avipsa Mohanty, 2016. "An Empirical Analysis of Effect of Public Debt on Economic Growth in India in the Post-Reform Era," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 6(11), pages 692-705, November.
    19. Doğan, İbrahim & Bilgili, Faik, 2014. "The non-linear impact of high and growing government external debt on economic growth: A Markov Regime-switching approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 213-220.
    20. Marine Hadengue & Thierry Warin, 2013. "Patterns of Specialization and (Un)conditional Convergence: The Cases of Brazil, China and India," CIRANO Working Papers 2013s-17, CIRANO.
    21. Gharyeni, Abdellatif, 2015. "Dette Extérieure, Croissance Économique et Crises dans Les Pays En Développement : Un Bref Aperçu Théorique, Historique et Statistique
      [External Debt, Economic Growth and Crisis in Developing Count
      ," MPRA Paper 69244, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 04 Feb 2106.
    22. repec:taf:wjabxx:v:17:y:2016:i:3:p:291-307 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. António Afonso & Sebastian Hauptmeier, 2009. "Public Debt and Economic Growth: a Granger Causality Panel Data Approach," Working Papers Department of Economics 2009/24, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    24. Natalia Utrero-Gonzalez & Jana Hromcová & Francisco J. Callado-Muñoz, 2017. "Defence Spending, Institutional Environment and Economic Growth: Case of NATO," Working Papers wpdea1704, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    25. repec:eee:jimfin:v:83:y:2018:i:c:p:55-74 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    HIPC; debt relief; economic growth; external debt;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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