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Debt Hold Up and International Lending

  • Rodney Ramcharan

Are lending contracts between international financial institutions (IFIs) and sovereign borrowers optimal? To address this question this paper builds on two ideas. First, the prospect of future debt relief can make it profitable for an IFI to continue lending even if lending contracts are currently violated. Second, some policy makers may prefer not implement reform contract and this preference remains unobserved to the IFI. Hence, some governments may strategically implement contracts in order to accumulate debt. When the debt stock becomes sufficiently large, it can be used as an “hold up†instrument, enabling the government to implement its preferred policy, assured that lending will continue. To mitigate the risk of “hold upâ€, the IFI may use lending contracts to screen such borrowers, leading to distorted reform contracts.

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings with number 341.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:341
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  1. Robert J Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2003. "IMF Programs: Who Is Chosen and What Are the Effects?," Departmental Working Papers 2003-09, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
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  11. Giulio Federico, 2001. "Samaritans, Rotten Kids and Policy Conditionality," CSAE Working Paper Series 2001-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  12. Rodney Ramcharan, 2003. "Reputation, Debt, and Policy Conditionality," IMF Working Papers 03/192, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Casella, Alessandra & Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Can Foreign Aid Accelerate Stabilisation?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 605-19, May.
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