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The debt crisis: lessons of the 1980's for the 1990's

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  • Graciela L. Kaminsky
  • Alfredo Pereira

Abstract

One of the salient characteristics of the 1980s is the growth collapse of the Latin American debtor countries. The debt-overhang literature claims that the debt crisis is the main reason for the growth collapse. However, previous empirical work has failed to support this hypothesis. We reexamine this hypothesis further using simulation and econometric methods. We find that once we account for the effects of social inequality on government policy and consumption, the burden of servicing the debt becomes an important factor in explaining the collapse in investment and output growth in Latin America. We draw some conclusions for the 1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Graciela L. Kaminsky & Alfredo Pereira, 1994. "The debt crisis: lessons of the 1980's for the 1990's," International Finance Discussion Papers 481, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:481
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    1. Kalteier, Eva-Maria & Posch, Peter N., 2013. "Sovereign asset values and implications for the credit market," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 53-60.
    2. Geske Dijkstra & Niels Hermes, 2001. "The Uncertainty of Debt Service Payments and Economic Growth of HIPCs: Is there a Case for Debt Relief?," WIDER Working Paper Series DP2001-122, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Marta Ruiz-Arranz & Mr. Tito Cordella & Mr. Luca A Ricci, 2005. "Debt Overhang or Debt Irrelevance? Revisiting the Debt-Growth Link," IMF Working Papers 2005/223, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Takeshi Tashiro, 2013. "Crowding out redefined: the role of reserve accumulation," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov, pages 1-43.
    5. Knoll, Martin, 2013. "The heavily indebted poor countries and the multilateral debt relief initiative: A test case for the validity of the debt overhang hypothesis," Discussion Papers 2013/11, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    6. Alejandro Guerson, 2006. "Fiscal Policy for Good: Reducing Macroeconomic Volatility in Uruguay," EcoMod2006 272100035, EcoMod.
    7. Reinhart, Carmen & Ostry, Jonathan, 1995. "Saving and real interest rates in developing countries," MPRA Paper 13352, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Muhammad Mustapha Abdullahi & Nor Aznin Bt Abu Bakar & Sallahuddin B. Hassan, 2016. "Debt Overhang versus Crowding Out Effects: Understanding the Impact of External Debts on Capital Formation in Theory," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(1), pages 271-278.
    9. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Reinhart, Vincent & Tashiro, Takeshi, 2016. "Does reserve accumulation crowd out investment?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 89-111.
    10. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2015. "The Antecedents and Aftermath of Financial Crises as Told by Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2015), pages 187-217, October.
    11. Miles B. Cahill & Paul N. Isely, 2000. "The Relationship between Aid and Debt in Developing Countries," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 44(2), pages 78-91, October.
    12. Spaliara, Marina-Eliza & Tsoukas, Serafeim, 2017. "Corporate failures and the denomination of corporate bonds: Evidence from emerging Asian economies over two financial crises," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 84-97.
    13. Arcade Ndoricimpa, 2017. "Threshold Effects of Debt on Economic Growth in Africa," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 29(3), pages 471-484, September.
    14. Eleftherios Thalassinos & Erginbay Ugurlu & Yusuf Muratoglu, 2012. "Income Inequality and Inflation in the EU," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(1), pages 127-140.
    15. Juan F. Guerra‐Salas, 2018. "Latin America'S Declining Skill Premium: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(1), pages 620-636, January.
    16. Dieppe, Alistair & Francis, Neville & Kindberg-Hanlon, Gene, 2021. "Technological and non-technological drivers of productivity dynamics in developed and emerging market economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    17. Mitchell Christopher W., 2016. "The structure of financial markets and the form of state bailouts, 1974–2009," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 97-122, August.
    18. Al-Marhubi, Fahim, 1997. "A note on the link between income inequality and inflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 317-319, September.

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