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Helping the Poor to Help Themselves: Debt Relief or Aid

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  • Serkan Arslanalp
  • Peter Blair Henry

Abstract

Debt relief is unlikely to stimulate investment and growth in the world's highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs). This is because the HIPCs do not suffer from debt overhang. The principal obstacle to investment and growth in the world's poorest countries is a lack of basic economic institutions that provide the foundation for profitable economic activity. If the goal is to help poor countries build the institutions that best suit their development needs, then the energy and resources currently devoted to the HIPC initiative could be more effectively employed as direct foreign aid.

Suggested Citation

  • Serkan Arslanalp & Peter Blair Henry, 2004. "Helping the Poor to Help Themselves: Debt Relief or Aid," NBER Working Papers 10230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10230
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Silvia Marchesi & Alessandro Missale, 2007. "How defensive were lending and aid to HIPC?," Working Papers 115, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 2007.
    2. Knoll, Martin, 2013. "The heavily indebted poor countries and the multilateral debt relief initiative: A test case for the validity of the debt overhang hypothesis," Discussion Papers 2013/11, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    3. Nicolas Depetris Chauvin & Aart Kraay, 2005. "What Has 100 Billion Dollars Worth of Debt Relief Done for Low- Income Countries?," International Finance 0510001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Johansson, Pernilla, 2008. "Debt Relief, Investment and Growth," Working Papers 2008:11, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    5. repec:eee:wdevel:v:104:y:2018:i:c:p:108-127 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Tengstam, Sven, 2006. "Debt relief and adjustment effort in a multi-period model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 127-130, April.
    7. Nicolas Depetris Chauvin & Aart Kraay, 2007. "Who Gets Debt Relief?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 333-342, 04-05.
    8. Alvarez-Plata, Patricia & Brück, Tilman, 2008. "External Debt in Post-Conflict Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 485-504, March.
    9. Sen, Swapan & Kasibhatla, Krishna M. & Stewart, David B., 2007. "Debt overhang and economic growth-the Asian and the Latin American experiences," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 3-11, March.
    10. repec:gam:jecomi:v:4:y:2016:i:2:p:9:d:69439 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lorenzo Forni & Geremia Palomba & Joana Pereira & Christine J. Richmond, 2016. "Sovereign Debt Restructuring and Growth," IMF Working Papers 16/147, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Muhammad Mustapha Abdullahi & Nor Aznin Bt Abu Bakar & Sallahuddin B. Hassan, 2016. "Debt Overhang versus Crowding Out Effects: Understanding the Impact of External Debts on Capital Formation in Theory," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(1), pages 271-278.
    13. Muhammad Nayaz & Javed Husain, 2013. "Pakistan’s Monetary Aid Concerns," South Asian Journal of Management Sciences (SAJMS), Iqra University, Iqra University, vol. 7(1), pages 31-34, Spring.

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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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