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Debt Sustainability for Low-Income Countries: A Review of Standard and Alternative Concepts

Author

Listed:
  • Cassimon, Denis
  • Moreno-Dodson, Blanca
  • Wodon, Quentin

Abstract

Governments in low-income countries have the difficult task of making wide-ranging decisions about public spending, taxation, and borrowing. Although we can analyze at length how both public spending and taxation can be designed and implemented to contribute to growth and poverty reduction, the biggest challenge that most developing countries face is in determining how much they can borrow without jeopardizing their long-term prospects. The objective of this paper is to introduce the key issues involved in debt sustainability analysis. We review the main approaches developed in the literature, starting from the traditional fiscal and external approaches and covering recent alternative frameworks, such as the debt overhang analysis and the human development approach (especially as it relates to the funding requirements for achieving the Millennium Development Goals).

Suggested Citation

  • Cassimon, Denis & Moreno-Dodson, Blanca & Wodon, Quentin, 2008. "Debt Sustainability for Low-Income Countries: A Review of Standard and Alternative Concepts," MPRA Paper 11077, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11077
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. berlage, Lodewijk & cassimon, Danny & dreze, Jacques & Reding, Paul, 2003. "Prospective Aid and Indebtedness Relief: A Proposal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1635-1654, October.
    2. Nancy Birdsall & John Williamson, 2002. "Delivering on Debt Relief: From IMF Gold to a New Aid Architecture," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 337.
    3. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2002. "Resolving the Debt Crisis of Low-Income Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 257-286.
    4. John T. Cuddington, 1997. "Analysing the Sustainability of Fiscal Deficits in Developing Countries," International Finance 9706001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Aart Kraay & Vikram Nehru, 2006. "When Is External Debt Sustainable?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(3), pages 341-365.
    6. Nicolas Depetris Chauvin & Aart Kraay, 2005. "What Has 100 Billion Dollars Worth of Debt Relief Done for Low- Income Countries?," International Finance 0510001, EconWPA.
    7. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
    8. Helene Poirson Ward & Luca A Ricci & Catherine A Pattillo, 2004. "What Are the Channels Through Which External Debt Affects Growth?," IMF Working Papers 04/15, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Raffer, Kunibert, 1990. "Applying chapter 9 insolvency to international debts: An economically efficient solution with a human face," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-311, February.
    10. Catherine Pattillo & Hélène Poirson & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2011. "External Debt and Growth," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(3).
    11. Claessens, Stijn, 1990. "The debt laffer curve: Some estimates," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(12), pages 1671-1677, December.
    12. Yan M Sun, 2004. "External Debt Sustainability in HIPC Completion Point Countries," IMF Working Papers 04/160, International Monetary Fund.
    13. William Easterly, 1999. "When is fiscal adjustment an illusion?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 55-86, April.
    14. Diwan, I. & Rodrik, D., 1992. "External Debt, Adjustment, and Burden Sharing: A Unified Framework," Princeton Studies in International Economics 73, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
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    16. Cohen, Daniel, 1996. "The sustainability of African debt," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1621, The World Bank.
    17. Ley, Eduardo, 2009. "Fiscal (and external) sustainability," MPRA Paper 13693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Klomp, Jeroen, 2017. "Flooded with debt," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(PA), pages 93-103.
    2. Evan Lau & Ahmad Zubaidi Baharumshah & Soon, 2013. "The behavior of external debt in Asian countries: evidence based on panel unit root tests," Journal of Business Economics and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(sup1), pages 377-394, June.
    3. Salem Kanoun, 2012. "Linkages Between Fiscal Debt Sustainability, Growth And Poverty: An Application To Tunisia," Book Chapters, Institute of Economic Sciences.
    4. Ian Koetsier & Jacob Bikker, 2017. "Herding behaviour of Dutch pension funds in sovereign bond investments," DNB Working Papers 569, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Danny Cassimon & Dennis Essers & Karel Verbeke, 2015. "What to do after the clean slate? Post-relief public debt sustainability and management," BeFinD Working Papers 0103, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    6. repec:nam:befdwp:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Emanuele Baldacci & Sanjeev Gupta & Carlos Mulas-Granados, 2010. "Restoring Debt Sustainability After Crises; Implications for the Fiscal Mix," IMF Working Papers 10/232, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt sustainbility; fiscal sustainability; debt overhang; Millennium Development Goals; human development;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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