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To give or to forgive ? aid versus debt relief

  • Cordella, Tito
  • Missaley, Alessandro

Is generalized debt relief an effective development strategy, or should assistance be tailored to countries'characteristics? To answer this question, the authors build a simple model in which recipient governments reveal their creditworthiness if donors offer them to choose between aid and debt relief. Since offering such a menu is costly, it is preferred by donors only when the cost of assistance is low, and the probability that an indebted country is creditworthy is high enough. For lower probabilities and higher costs of assistance, donors prefer a policy of only debt relief. Very limited aid is the preferred policy only for high costs of assistance, and low probabilities that the government is creditworthy.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5859.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5859
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  1. Catherine Pattillo & Hélène Poirson & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2011. "External Debt and Growth," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(3).
  2. Imbs, Jean & Rancière, Romain, 2005. "The Overhang Hangover," CEPR Discussion Papers 5210, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Cassimon, Danny & Van Campenhout, Bjorn, 2006. "Aid effectiveness, debt relief and public finance response: evidence from a panel of HIPC countries," IOB Working Papers 2006.02, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB).
  4. Helmut Reisen & Sokhna Ndoye, 2008. "Prudent versus Imprudent Lending to Africa: From debt relief to emerging lenders," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 268, OECD Publishing.
  5. Michaelowa, Katharina, 2002. "The political economy of the enhanced HIPC-initiative," HWWA Discussion Papers 161, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  6. Graham Bird & Alistair Milne, 2003. "Debt Relief for Low Income Countries: Is it Effective and Efficient?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 43-59, January.
  7. Andrea F. Presbitero, 2009. "Debt-Relief Effectiveness and Institution-Building," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 27(5), pages 529-559, 09.
  8. Johansson, Pernilla, 2010. "Debt Relief, Investment and Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1204-1216, September.
  9. Cassimon, Danny & van Campenhout, Bjorn, 2007. "Aid Effectiveness, Debt Relief and Public Finance Response: Evidence from a Panel of HIPCs," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  10. Serkan Arslanalp & Peter Blair Henry, 2004. "Is Debt Relief Efficient?," NBER Working Papers 10217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Claudio Raddatz, 2011. "Multilateral Debt Relief through the Eyes of Financial Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1262-1288, November.
  12. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Tito Cordella, 2002. "Limits of Conditionality in Poverty Reduction Programs," IMF Working Papers 02/115, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Jeremy Bulow, 2002. "First World Governments and Third World Debt: A Bankruptcy Court for Sovereign Lending?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 229-256.
  14. Helene Poirson Ward & Luca Antonio Ricci & Catherine A. Pattillo, 2004. "What Are the Channels Through Which External Debt Affects Growth?," IMF Working Papers 04/15, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Easterly, William, 2002. "How Did Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Become Heavily Indebted? Reviewing Two Decades of Debt Relief," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 1677-1696, October.
  16. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-55, September.
  17. Murshed, S Mansoob & Sen, Somnath, 1995. "Aid Conditionality and Military Expenditure Reduction in Developing Countries: Models of Asymmetric Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 498-509, March.
  18. Paul R. Krugman, 1988. "Financing vs. Forgiving a Debt Overhang," NBER Working Papers 2486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Nicolas Depetris Chauvin & Aart Kraay, 2005. "What Has 100 Billion Dollars Worth of Debt Relief Done for Low- Income Countries?," International Finance 0510001, EconWPA.
  20. Corinne Deléchat & Gustavo Ramirez & Smita Wagh & John Wakeman-Linn, 2010. "How Global Financial Markets Affect Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 57(1), pages 172-208, April.
  21. Presbitero Andrea F., 2006. "The Debt-Growth Nexus: a Dynamic Panel Data Estimation," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 417-462.
  22. Azam, Jean-Paul & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 2003. "Contracting for aid," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 25-58, February.
  23. Serkan Arslanalp & Peter Blair Henry, 2006. "Policy Watch: Debt Relief," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 207-220, Winter.
  24. Asiedu, Elizabeth, 2003. "Debt relief and institutional reform: a focus on Heavily Indebted Poor Countries," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 614-626.
  25. 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.
  26. Cohen, Daniel, 1993. "Low Investment and Large LDC Debt in the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 437-49, June.
  27. Tito Cordella & Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, 2007. "Budget Support Versus Project Aid: A Theoretical Appraisal," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1260-1279, October.
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