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Is the discount on the secondary market a case for LDC debt relief?

  • Cohen, Daniel

In 1988, the prices on the secondary market of LDC debt averaged 50 cents per dollar of face value. From the observation of such discount, this paper goes one step further and argues thatthe debt should be written down in order to account for the discrepancy between the face and market value of the debt. The paper is structured as follows. Section 1 spells out the model, section 2 calculates the socially efficient and the post-default growth rates of the economy. Section 3 shows that the lenders, if they were to monitor the investment and the consumption strategy of the borrower, would choose a lower investment strategy than the socially efficient one. Section 4 shows how an optimum rescheduling can achieve the equilibrium described in section 3. Section 5 shows the dynamic inconsistency of the optimal strategy spelled out in section 4, and shows the link with the"debt overhang"literature. Section 6 investigates the empirical relevance of the"debt overhang".

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 132.

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Date of creation: 30 Nov 1988
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:132
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  1. Sachs, J. & Huizinga, H.P., 1987. "U.S. commercial banks and the developing-country debt crisis," Other publications TiSEM ada14007-7229-4f6d-a016-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Jeremy I. Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 2088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1988. "Our LDC Debts," NBER Working Papers 2138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cohen, Daniel & Michel, Philippe, 1988. "How Should Control Theory Be Used to Calculate a Time-Consistent Government Policy?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 263-74, April.
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