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How does external debt impact democratization? Evidence from developing countries

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  • Jean-Louis Combes

    (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Rasmané Ouedraogo

    (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

In this paper we empirically discuss whether or not external debt affects country’s governance. Indeed, indebted countries need some political governance reforms in order to send out a positive signal to international financial community and investors; and so improving business climate. However, external debt reduces their flexibility and ability to address associated costs to political governance. Our study focuses on the period 1985-2011 and spans 103 developing countries. To deal with endogeneity issue, we first lag external debt by one year and second propose two-step tobit estimator by instrumenting external debt-to-GDP ratio with real effective exchange rate. Even controlling for various conventional determinants of democratic transitions, we find that external debt constraints indebted countries to move up democracy scale but incite governments to improve investment profile and therefore improving business climate. Furthermore, Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative and International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs dampen the negative effect of debt on democratic transitions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Louis Combes & Rasmané Ouedraogo, 2015. "How does external debt impact democratization? Evidence from developing countries," Working Papers halshs-00969172, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00969172
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00969172v2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    external debt; governance; democracy; democratic transitions; crisis; investment;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics

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