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Debt Reduction, Adjustment Lending, and Burden Sharing


  • Ishac Diwan
  • Dani Rodrik


We argue that the disincentive effect of a debt overhang is generally small and consequently that debt reduction does not lead to important efficiency gains on this account. Instead, we develop a framework that highlights the inefficiency created by the liquidity constraint faced by over-indebted countries. Often, adjustment/investment opportunities that are profitable at the world interest rate cannot be undertaken for lack of sufficient funds. New creditors are deterred from investing as they expect to be 'taxed" by the old creditors who stand to gain disproportionately. This leads to an inefficient situation when a class of new creditors have a comparative advantage relative to the old creditors. We focus on the time inconsistency introduced by the shortage of liquidity. New (unconditional) loans will be consumed rather than invested. In this context conditional lending can release the liquidity constraint in a time consistent way and lead to efficiency gains that can be shared between the debtor, the old creditors, and the new creditors. The role of debt reduction then is to create the "headroom" needed for these new and more efficient creditors to step in

Suggested Citation

  • Ishac Diwan & Dani Rodrik, 1992. "Debt Reduction, Adjustment Lending, and Burden Sharing," NBER Working Papers 4007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4007
    Note: ITI IFM

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    Cited by:

    1. Ristan Stijepović, 2014. "Recovery and Reduction of Non-Performing Loans – Podgorica Approach," Journal of Central Banking Theory and Practice, Central bank of Montenegro, vol. 3(3), pages 101-118.
    2. Spiegel, Mark M., 1996. ""Burden sharing" in sovereign debt reduction," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 337-351, August.
    3. Nir Klein, 2013. "Non-Performing Loans in CESEE; Determinants and Impact on Macroeconomic Performance," IMF Working Papers 13/72, International Monetary Fund.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4089 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Daniel Cohen, 1992. "The Debt Crisis: A Postmortem," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 65-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo, 1993. "Costs and benefits of debt and debt service reduction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1169, The World Bank.
    7. Svetozar Tanasković & Maja Jandrić, 2015. "Macroeconomic and Institutional Determinants of Non-performing Loans," Journal of Central Banking Theory and Practice, Central bank of Montenegro, vol. 4(1), pages 47-62.

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