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Borrowing Abroad: The Debtor's Perspective

  • Richard N. Cooper
  • Jeffrey Sachs
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    This paper addresses the question of external borrowing from the perspective of the borrowing country. The first section sketches a formal framework for optimal borrowing by a developing country, as seen from the planner's point of view. The next three sections use this framework for the development of three important limits on external borrowing: the problem of solvency, the problem of liquidity and the problem created by the possibility of repudiation. The fifth section relates external borrowing to macroeconomic management of the borrowing country, and the sixth section pulls together the many factors that suggest that external debt of a country should be subject to central management or at least surveillance. Following that, we offer some guidelines for limits to the magnitude of external debt, and then discuss the character or mix of external debt. In an appendix, we present various simulation exercises for optimal debt management in a discrete-time infinite-horizon setting.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1427.

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    Date of creation: Aug 1984
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    Publication status: published as Cooper, Richard N. and Jeffrey D. Sachs. "Borrowing Abroad: The Debtor's Perspective." International Debt and Developing Countries, edited by Gordon W. Smith and John T. Cuddington. Washington: World Bank Symposium, (March 1985), Washington: D.C.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1427
    Note: ITI IFM
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    1. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Srinivasan, T. N., 1976. "Optimal trade policy and compensation under endogenous uncertainty: The phenomenon of market disruption," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 317-336, November.
    2. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Warner, Jerold B., 1979. "On financial contracting : An analysis of bond covenants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 117-161, June.
    3. Brecher, Richard A. & Diaz Alejandro, Carlos F., 1977. "Tariffs, foreign capital and immiserizing growth," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 317-322, November.
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