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Developing Country Borrowing and Domestic Wealth

  • Mark Gertler
  • Kenneth Rogoff

We show that across developing countries, external debt to private creditors rises more than proportionately with income. We then develop a simple theoretical model consistent with this phenomenon and also consistent with the well-documented relationship between capital market development and growth. Our framework stresses information asymmetries at the level of individual borrowers as the source of frictions in world capital markets. Because of moral hazard problems, marginal products of capital and borrowing-lending spreads are higher in poorer countries. In a two-country version of the model, we demonstrate the possibility of a siphoning effect which exacerbates the costs of transfers. Also because of the siphoning effect, increased wealth in the rich country can stunt investment in the poor country.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2887.

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Date of creation: Mar 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "Developing Country Borrowing and Domestic Wealth," Proceedings, Federal Bank of San Francisco, 1989.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2887
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Jeremy I. Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1986. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 2088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dixit, Avinash, 1987. "Trade and insurance with moral hazard," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 201-220, November.
  3. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Alan T. MacArthur, 1987. "Political vs. Currency Premia in International Real Interest Differentials: A Study of Forward Rates for 24 Countries," NBER Working Papers 2309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jeremy Greenwood & Stephen D. Williamson, 1988. "International financial intermediation and aggregate fluctuations under alternative exchange rate regimes," Staff Report 112, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Stulz, ReneM., 1986. "Capital mobility in the world economy: Theory and measurement A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 105-113, January.
  6. Raquel Fernandez & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1988. "Sovereign-debt Renegotiations: A Strategic Analysis," NBER Working Papers 2597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gertler, Mark, 1988. "Financial Structure and Aggregate Economic Activity: An Overview," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(3), pages 559-88, August.
  8. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  9. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mark Gertler, 1988. "Financial Capacity, Reliquification, and Production in an Economy with Long-Term Financial Arrangements," NBER Working Papers 2763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  12. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  13. Andrew Atkeson, 2010. "International lending with moral hazard and risk of repudiation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 200, David K. Levine.
  14. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Capital mobility in the world economy: Theory and measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 55-103, January.
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