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The Dynamic Implications of Debt Relief for Low-Income Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Ales Bulir
  • Alma Romero-Barrutieta
  • Jose Daniel Rodríguez-Delgado

The effects of debt relief on incentives to accumulate debt, consume, and invest are an important concern for donors and recipients. Using a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of a small open economy with a minimum consumption requirement and an endogenous relief probability, we show that excessive debt accumulation is consistent with an anticipation of a future debt relief. Simulations of the calibrated model using 1982-2006 Ugandan data suggest that debt-relief episodes are likely to have only a temporary impact on the level of debt in low-income countries, while being associated with more consumption and less invesment. The long-run debt-to-GDP ratio is estimated to be about twice as high with debt relief than without it.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 11/157.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2011
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/157
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  1. Masao Ogaki & Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 38-71, March.
  2. Serkan Arslanalp & Peter Blair Henry, 2004. "Is Debt Relief Efficient?," NBER Working Papers 10217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Timothy J Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2003. "Recent Great Depressions: Aggregate Growth in New Zealand and Switzerland," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000529, David K. Levine.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao & Ostry, Jonathan, 1995. "Saving behavior in low- and middle-income developing countries," MPRA Paper 13757, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Junko Koeda, 2006. "A Debt Overhang Model for Low-Income Countries; Implications for Debt Relief," IMF Working Papers 06/224, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Timothy D. Lane & Leslie Lipschitz & Cristina Arellano & Ales Bulir, 2005. "The Dynamic Implications of Foreign Aid and Its Variability," IMF Working Papers 05/119, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Chauvin, Nicolas Depetris & Kraay, Aart, 2006. "Who gets debt relief ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4000, The World Bank.
  8. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
  9. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2003. "Closing small open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 163-185, October.
  10. Atkeson, Andrew & Ogaki, Masao, 1996. "Wealth-varying intertemporal elasticities of substitution: Evidence from panel and aggregate data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 507-534, December.
  11. Satyajit Chatterjee & B. Ravikumar & B. Ravikumar, 1997. "Minimum consumptions requirements: theoretical and quantitative implications for growth and distribution," Working Papers 97-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  12. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
  13. Stéphane Pallage & Michel A. Robe & Catherine Bérubé, 2006. "The Potential of Foreign Aid as Insurance," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(3), pages 5-5.
  14. Alvarez-Pelaez, Maria J. & Diaz, Antonia, 2005. "Minimum consumption and transitional dynamics in wealth distribution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 633-667, April.
  15. Martin Uribe & Vivian Z. Yue, 2003. "Country Spreads and Emerging Countries: Who Drives Whom?," NBER Working Papers 10018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Francesc Obiols-Homs & Carlos Urrutia, 2005. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of assets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 25(2), pages 381-400, 02.
  17. Easterly, William, 2002. "How Did Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Become Heavily Indebted? Reviewing Two Decades of Debt Relief," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 1677-1696, October.
  18. Masao Ogaki & Andrew Atkeson, 1997. "Rate Of Time Preference, Intertemporal Elasticity Of Substitution, And Level Of Wealth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 564-572, November.
  19. Jakob E Christensen, 2004. "Domestic Debt Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 04/46, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Junko Koeda, 2008. "A Debt Overhang Model for Low-Income Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(4), pages 654-678, December.
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