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Our LDC Debts


  • Rudiger Dornbusch


The U.S. has significant interests involved in the world debt problem. It affects the profitability and even the stability of our banking system, but the debt problem also matters because debt service requires trade surpluses for debt- ors. Debtor countries have made their goods extra competitive, are selling in our market and are competing with our exports. The debt problem is therefore a part, though perhaps a small part, of the U.S. trade crisis. Finally we have a major foreign policy stake in the debt crisis in that debt collection brings about social and political instability. The paper sets out debt facts, followed with a brief look at the origins of the debt problem. The "transfer problem" is the general framework in which we discuss the problem of debt service for the debtor countries. We then discuss bank exposure and the quality of debts. The paper then addresses the trade implications of debt service and concludes with an overview of alternative proposals for solving the debt problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Rudiger Dornbusch, 1987. "Our LDC Debts," NBER Working Papers 2138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2138
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    • Rudiger Dornbusch & Thomas S. Johnson & Anne O. Krueger, 1988. "Our LDC Debts," NBER Chapters,in: The United States in the World Economy, pages 161-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fishlow, Albert, 1985. "Lessons from the past: capital markets during the 19th century and the interwar period," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(03), pages 383-439, June.
    2. Daniel Cohen & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Growth and External Debt Under Risk of Debt Repudiation," NBER Chapters,in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 437-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. N/A, 1985. "Asia," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 41(1), pages 80-87, January.
    4. Paul De Grauwe & Michele Fratianni, 1984. "The Political Economy of International Lending," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 4(1), pages 147-184, Spring/Su.
    5. Martin Feldstein, 1986. "International Debt Service and Economic Growth: Some Simple Analytics," NBER Working Papers 2076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Eichengreen, Barry & Portes, Richard, 1986. "Debt and default in the 1930s : Causes and consequences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 599-640, June.
    7. Edwards, Sebastian, 1986. "The pricing of bonds and bank loans in international markets : An empirical analysis of developing countries' foreign borrowing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 565-589, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Edwards, 2000. "Capital Flows, Real Exchange Rates, and Capital Controls: Some Latin American Experiences," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 197-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Dylan McGee, Christopher, 2007. "Sovereign bond markets with political risk and moral hazard," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 186-201.
    3. Cohen Daniel, 1988. "Is the discount on the secondary market a case for ldc debt relief ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8823, CEPREMAP.
    4. Sebastian Edwards, 1998. "Capital Inflows into Latin America: A Stop-Go Story?," NBER Working Papers 6441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Froot, Kenneth A, 1989. "Buybacks, Exit Bonds, and the Optimality of Debt and Liquidity Relief," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(1), pages 49-70, February.
    6. Paul R. Krugman, 1988. "Market-Based Debt-Reduction Schemes," NBER Working Papers 2587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sebastian Edwards, 1990. "Capital Flows, Foreign Direct Investment, and Debt-Equity Swaps in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 3497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Joseph Atta-Mensah, 2004. "Commodity-Linked Bonds: A Potential Means for Less-Developed Countries to Raise Foreign Capital," Staff Working Papers 04-20, Bank of Canada.
    9. Stephan Koren, 1992. "Debt relief for Eastern Europe — Its costs and the distribution of proceeds: Some preliminary results," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 128(4), pages 639-661, December.

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