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Debt overhang in emerging Europe ?

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  • Brown, Martin
  • Lane, Philip R.

Abstract

This paper assesses the extent to which debt overhang poses a constraint to economic activity in Emerging Europe, as the region emerges from the recent financial and economic crisis. At the macroeconomic level, it finds that the external imbalance problem for Emerging Europe has been in most cases more one of flows (high current account deficits in the pre-crisis years) rather than large stocks of external debt. A high reliance on equity funding means that net external debt is far lower than net external liabilities. Domestic balance sheets have expanded quite rapidly but sector liabilities remain relatively low compared with advanced economies. With the important exception of Hungary, public debt levels also remain relatively low in Emerging Europe. At the microeconomic level, the potential for debt overhang in the corporate sector is limited to a few countries: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Slovenia. Due to the low incidence of household debt, hardly any country, except Estonia, seems to face a threat of debt overhang in the household sector. The strong increase in non-performing loans compared with pre-crisis bank profitability suggests that debt overhang in the banking sector is a threat in Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Georgia, and Albania. Financial integration of Emerging Europe seems to have contributed to the transmission of the crisis to the region. At the same time, this integration is helping the region in managing the crisis by concerted actions of the major players.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Martin & Lane, Philip R., 2011. "Debt overhang in emerging Europe ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5784, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5784
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    Cited by:

    1. Didar ERDINC & Eda ABAZI, 2014. "The Determinants of NPLs in Emerging Europe, 2000-2011," Journal of Economics and Political Economy, KSP Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 112-125, December.
    2. Marianna Sávai, 2016. "Short-term Fiscal Sustainability of V4 Countries," European Financial and Accounting Journal, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2016(3), pages 169-182.
    3. Egle Jakucionyte & Sweder van Wijnbergen, 2022. "The macroeconomics of carry trade gone wrong: Corporate and consumer losses in Emerging Europe," Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 30(4), pages 773-812, October.
    4. ROMAN Angela & SARGU Alina Camelia, 2012. "Lending In Foreign Currency And Current Challenges At European Level," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 588-594, December.
    5. Lane, Philip R., 2013. "Capital Flows in the Euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 9493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Eduardo Borensztein & Lei Sandy Ye, 2021. "Corporate debt overhang and investment in emerging economies: Firm‐level evidence," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 18-39, April.
    7. Brunnermeier, Markus & De Gregorio, José & Eichengreen, Barry & El-Erian, Mohamed & Fraga, Arminio & Ito, Takatoshi & Lane, Philip R. & Pisani-Ferry, Jean & Prasad, Eswar & Rajan, Raghuram & Ramos, Ma, 2012. "Banks and cross-border capital flows: challenges and regulatory responses," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102439, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Lawless, Martina & O’Connell, Brian & O’Toole, Conor, 2015. "SME recovery following a financial crisis: Does debt overhang matter?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 45-59.
    9. Philip R. Lane, 2013. "Growth And Adjustment Challenges For The Euro Area," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(2), pages 273-295.
    10. Selim Yildirim & Bilge Kagan Özdemir & Burhan Dogan, 2013. "Financial Development and Economic Growth Nexus in Emerging European Economies: New Evidence from Asymmetric Causality," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 3(3), pages 710-722.
    11. Sweder J.G. van Wijnbergen & Egle Jakucionyte, 2017. "Debt Overhang, Exchange Rates and the Macroeconomics of Carry Trade," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-005/VI, Tinbergen Institute, revised 15 Jun 2018.
    12. Willem Vanlaer & Mattia Picarelli & Wim Marneffe, 2021. "Debt and Private Investment: Does the EU Suffer from a Debt Overhang?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 789-820, September.
    13. Szabolcs Szikszai & Tamás Badics & Csilla Raffai & Zsolt Stenger & András Tóthmihály, 2013. "Studies in Financial Systems No 8 Hungary," FESSUD studies fstudy08, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    14. Martin Brown & Karolin Kirschenmann & Steven Ongena, 2014. "Bank Funding, Securitization, and Loan Terms: Evidence from Foreign Currency Lending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(7), pages 1501-1534, October.
    15. Jakucionyte, Egle & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 2017. "Debt Overhang and the Macroeconomics of Carry Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 11788, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Brown, Martin, 2013. "The transmission of banking crises to households : lessons from the 2008-2011 crises in the ECA region," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6528, The World Bank.
    17. Hoffmann, Andreas, 2016. "The collateral effects of political integration on credit growth in the new member states of the EU," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 658-669.

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    Keywords

    Debt Markets; Access to Finance; Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress; Banks&Banking Reform; Emerging Markets;
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