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External Debt and Economic Reform: Does a Pain Reliever Delay the Necessary Treatment?

  • Athanasios Vamvakidis
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    Recent literature argues that conflict in shifting adjustment costs between different socioeconomic groups delays necessary reforms and finds that such reforms often follow economic crises. This paper expands these models by including external borrowing by the private sector and shows that this may lead to a further delay in economic reform. Empirical evidence based on a large panel of developing and emerging economies supports this argument and shows that the result is slower economic growth. External financing sometimes acts like a "pain reliever," postponing the much needed "treatment" of a "sick" economy by reform.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/50.

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    Length: 27
    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/50
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    1. Casella, Alessandra & Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Can Foreign Aid Accelerate Stabilisation?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 605-19, May.
    2. Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1996. "Inflation's Children: Tales of Crises That Beget Reforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 213-17, May.
    3. Tommasi, Mariano & Velasco, Andres, 1995. "Where are we in the Political Economy of Reform?," Working Papers 95-20, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    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. Alesina, A. & Drazen, A., 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," Papers 6-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    6. Allan Drazen & William Easterly, 2001. "Do Crises Induce Reform? Simple Empirical Tests of Conventional Wisdom," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 129-157, 07.
    7. Hélène Poirson & Luca Antonio Ricci & Catherine A. Pattillo, 2004. "What Are the Channels Through Which External Debt Affects Growth?," IMF Working Papers 04/15, International Monetary Fund.
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