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Debt Sustainability in Low-Income Countries - The Grants versus Loans Debate in a World without Crystal Balls

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  • Ugo PANIZZA

    () (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement de Genève)

Abstract

When allocating their aid budget, development agencies need to decide whether to give outright grants or use concessional loans that blend a grant and credit element. Theory suggests that the degree of concessionality should be negatively correlated with debt sustainability. Several donors use the World Bank/IMF Debt Sustainability Framework to guide their aid decisions. They give loans to low-risk countries, a blend of loans and grants to medium-risk countries, and only grants to high-risk countries. The paper shows that there are problems with this approach and proposes an alternative allocation mechanism based on GDP-indexed concessional loans.

Suggested Citation

  • Ugo PANIZZA, 2015. "Debt Sustainability in Low-Income Countries - The Grants versus Loans Debate in a World without Crystal Balls," Working Papers P120, FERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:fdi:wpaper:2005
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    File URL: http://www.ferdi.fr/sites/www.ferdi.fr/files/publication/fichiers/wp120_panizza_web.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. berlage, Lodewijk & cassimon, Danny & dreze, Jacques & Reding, Paul, 2003. "Prospective Aid and Indebtedness Relief: A Proposal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1635-1654, October.
    2. Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2009. "The Economics and Law of Sovereign Debt and Default," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 651-698, September.
    3. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 2005. "Grants versus Loans for Development Banks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 393-397, May.
    4. Hulya Ulku & Tito Cordella, 2004. "Grants Versus Loans," IMF Working Papers 04/161, International Monetary Fund.
    5. repec:cor:louvrp:-1660 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Simeon Djankov & Jose G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2006. "Does Foreign Aid Help," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 26(1), pages 1-28, Winter.
    7. Matthew Odedokun, 2004. "Multilateral and Bilateral Loans versus Grants: Issues and Evidence," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 239-263, February.
    8. Andrew Berg & Enrico G Berkes & Catherine A Pattillo & Andrea F Presbitero & Yorbol Yakhshilikov, 2014. "Assessing Bias and Accuracy in the World Bank-IMF's Debt Sustainability Framework for Low-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 14/48, International Monetary Fund.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Danny Cassimon & Dennis Essers & Karel Verbeke, 2016. "The IMF-WB Debt Sustainability Framework: Procedures, Applications and Criticisms," BeFinD Policy Briefs 3, University of Namur, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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