How did highly indebted poor countries become highly indebted? : reviewing two decades of debt relief
How did highly indebted poor countries become highly indebted after two decades of debt relief efforts? A set of theoretical models predict that countries with unchanged long-run savings preferences will respond to debt relief with a mixture of asset decumulation and new borrowing. A model also predicts that a high-discount-rate government will choose poor policies and impose its inter-temporal preferences on the entire economy. Reviewing the experience of highly indebted poor countries, compared with that of other developing countries, the author finds direct and indirect evidence of asset decumulation and new borrowing associated with debt relief. The ratio of the net present value of debt to exports rose strongly over 1979-97 despite the debt relief efforts. Average policies in highly indebted poor countries were generally worse than those in other developing countries, nor were wars more likely in highly indebted poor countries. Over time there has been an important shift in financing for highly indebted poor countries, away from private and bilateral nonconcessional sources to the International Development Association and other sources of multilateral concessional financing. But this implicit form of debt relief also failed to reduce debt in net present value terms. Although debt relief is done in the name of the poor, the poor are worse off if debt relief creates incentives to delay reforms needed for growth.
|Date of creation:||30 Nov 1999|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nouriel Roubini & Paul Wachtel, 1997.
"Current Account Sustainability in Transition Economies,"
97-03, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Nouriel Roubini & Paul Wachtel, 1998. "Current Account Sustainability in Transition Economies," NBER Working Papers 6468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Allan Drazen & William Easterly, 2001. "Do Crises Induce Reform? Simple Empirical Tests of Conventional Wisdom," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 129-157, 07.
- Joshua Greene, 1989. "The External Debt Problem of Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(4), pages 836-874, December.
- Masao Ogaki & Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 38-71, March.
- Masao Ogaki & Jonathan David Ostry & Carmen Reinhart, 1995. "Saving Behavior in Low and Middle-Income Developing Countries; A Comparison," IMF Working Papers 95/3, International Monetary Fund.
- Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao & Ostry, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," MPRA Paper 6978, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
- Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- William Easterly, 1999. "When is fiscal adjustment an illusion?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 55-86, 04.
- Easterly, William, 1999. "When is fiscal adjustment an illusion?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2109, The World Bank.
- Dadush, Uri & Dhareshwar, Ashok & Johannes, Ron, 1994. "Are private capital flows to developing countries sustainable?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1397, The World Bank.
- Cohen, Daniel, 1996. "The sustainability of African debt," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1621, The World Bank. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2225. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.