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External Debt, Public Investment, and Growth in Low-Income Countries

  • Toan Quoc Nguyen
  • Benedict J. Clements
  • Rina Bhattacharya
Registered author(s):

    This paper examines the channels through which external debt affects growth in low-income countries. Our results suggest that the substantial reduction in the stock of external debt projected for highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs) would directly increase per capita income growth by about 1 percentage point per annum. Reductions in external debt service could also provide an indirect boost to growth through their effects on public investment. If half of all debt-service relief were channeled for such purposes without increasing the budget deficit, then growth could accelerate in some HIPCs by an additional 0.5 percentage point per annum.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 03/249.

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    Length: 25
    Date of creation: 01 Dec 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/249
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    1. Khan, Mohsin S & Kumar, Manmohan S, 1997. "Public and Private Investment and the Growth Process in Developing Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(1), pages 69-88, February.
    2. Warner, Andrew M, 1992. "Did the Debt Crisis Cause the Investment Crisis?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1161-86, November.
    3. Oks, Daniel & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1994. "Mexico after the debt crisis : is growth sustainable?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1378, The World Bank.
    4. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2001. "Determinants of public capital spending in less-developed countries," CCSO Working Papers 200107, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
    6. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    7. Deshpande, Ashwini, 1997. "The debt overhang and the disincentive to invest," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 169-187, February.
    8. Hélène Poirson & Luca Antonio Ricci & Catherine A. Pattillo, 2002. "External Debt and Growth," IMF Working Papers 02/69, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Serven, Luis, 1997. "Uncertainty, instability, and irreversible investment : theory, evidence, and lessons for Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1722, The World Bank.
    10. Vito Tanzi & Hamid Reza Davoodi, 1997. "Corruption, Public Investment, and Growth," IMF Working Papers 97/139, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Gupta, Sanjeev & Clements, Benedict & Baldacci, Emanuele & Mulas-Granados, Carlos, 2005. "Fiscal policy, expenditure composition, and growth in low-income countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 441-463, April.
    12. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
    13. Benedict J. Clements & Gabriela Inchauste & Nita Thacker & Thomas William Dorsey & Shamsuddin Tareq & Emanuele Baldacci & Sanjeev Gupta & Mark W. Plant, 2002. "Is the PRGF Living Up to Expectations?," IMF Occasional Papers 216, International Monetary Fund.
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