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

  • Graciela L. Kaminsky
  • Alfredo Pereira

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.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 481.

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Date of creation: 1994
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:481
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  1. Daniel Cohen & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Growth and External Debt Under Risk of Debt Repudiation," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 437-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1993. "“Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors," MPRA Paper 7125, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  8. John H. Cochrane, 1988. "The Sensitivity of Tests of the Intertemporal Allocation of Consumption to Near-Rational Alternatives," NBER Working Papers 2730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1989. "Social Conflict and Populist Policies in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 2897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Carmen Reinhart & Guillermo Calvo & Leonardo Leiderman, 1992. "Capital Inflows to Latin America; The 1970's and the 1990's," IMF Working Papers 92/85, International Monetary Fund.
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  13. Rudiger Dornbusch & Juan Carlos de Pablo, 1989. "Debt and Macroeconomic Instability in Argentina," NBER Chapters, in: Developing Country Debt and the World Economy, pages 37-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Berg, Andrew & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1988. "The debt crisis structural explanations of country performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 271-306, November.
  15. Carlos F. Diaz-Alejandro, 1984. "Latin American Debt: I Don't Think We Are in Kansas Anymore," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(2), pages 335-403.
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  18. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government," NBER Working Papers 2855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Guillermo A. Calvo & Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1994. "The Capital Inflows Problem: Concepts And Issues," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 54-66, 07.
  20. Reinhart, Carmen & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1994. "Capital inflows to Latin America," MPRA Paper 13406, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  25. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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