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

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  • Athanasios Vamvakidis

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Athanasios Vamvakidis, 2007. "External Debt and Economic Reform; Does a Pain Reliever Delay the Necessary Treatment?," IMF Working Papers 07/50, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/50
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    File URL: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=20465
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Casella, Alessandra & Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Can Foreign Aid Accelerate Stabilisation?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 605-619, May.
    2. 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, July.
    3. Mariano Tommasi & Andres Velasco, 1996. "Where are we in the political economy of reform?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 187-238.
    4. Helene Poirson Ward & Luca A Ricci & Catherine A Pattillo, 2004. "What Are the Channels Through Which External Debt Affects Growth?," IMF Working Papers 04/15, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    6. Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1996. "Inflation's Children: Tales of Crises That Beget Reforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 213-217, May.
    7. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Piotr Ciżkowicz & Andrzej Rzońca & Rafał Trzeciakowski, 2015. "Windfall of Low Interest Payments and Fiscal Sustainability in the Euro Area: Analysis through Panel Fiscal Reaction Functions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 475-510, November.
    2. Vamvakidis, Athanasios, 2009. "Is there a "reform fatigue" in the euro area?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 767-777, July.
    3. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Luis Garicano & Tano Santos, 2013. "Political Credit Cycles: The Case of the Eurozone," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 145-166, Summer.
    4. Malte Rieth & Lisa Gehrt, 2016. "What Causes the Delay in Reforms in Europe?," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 99, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Muhanji, Stella & Ojah, Kalu, 2016. "Governance infrastructure and indebtedness of African countries: Do regional blocs matter?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 123-153.
    6. Bélyácz, Iván & Kuti, Mónika, 2009. "Külföldi működőtőke és külső eladósodás. Kísérlet a makrogazdasági tőkestruktúra új szempontú vizsgálatára
      [Foreign operating capital and foreign indebtedness. An attempt to examine macroeconomic c
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 133-154.

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