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Using pooled information and bootstrap methods to assess debt sustainability in low income countries

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  • Hevia, Constantino

Abstract

Conventional assessments of debt sustainability in low income countries are hampered by poor data and weaknesses in methodology. In particular, the standard International Monetary Fund-World bank debt sustainability framework relies on questionable empirical assumptions: its baseline projections ignore statistical uncertainty, and its stress tests, which are performed as robustness checks, lack a clear economic interpretation and ignore the interdependence between the relevant macroeconomic variables. This paper proposes to alleviate these problems by pooling data from many countries and estimating the shocks and macroeconomic interdependence faced by a generic, low income country. The paper estimates a panel vector autoregression to trace the evolution of the determinants of debt, and performs simulations to calculate statistics on external debt for individual countries. The methodology allows for the value of the determinants of debt to differ across countries in the long run, and for additional heterogeneity through country-specific exogenous variables. Results in this paper suggest that ignoring the uncertainty and interdependence of macroeconomic variables leads to biases in projected debt trajectories, and consequently, the assessment of debt sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Hevia, Constantino, 2012. "Using pooled information and bootstrap methods to assess debt sustainability in low income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5978, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5978
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Hisashi Tanizaki & Shigeyuki Hamori & Yoichi Matsubayashi, 2006. "On least-squares bias in the AR(p) models: Bias correction using the bootstrap methods," Statistical Papers, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 109-124, January.
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    5. Roberto Rigobon & Marcio Garcia, 2004. "A Risk Management Approach to Emerging Market’s Sovereign Debt Sustainability with an application to Brazilian data," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 24, Econometric Society.
    6. Pesaran, H. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 1998. "Generalized impulse response analysis in linear multivariate models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-29, January.
    7. Everaert, Gerdie & Pozzi, Lorenzo, 2007. "Bootstrap-based bias correction for dynamic panels," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1160-1184, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maximilien Kaffo Melou & Mariusz A. Sumlinski & Chris Geiregat, 2014. "An Application of the "Fan-Chart Approach" to Debt Sustainability in Post-HIPC Low-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 14/102, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Theory&Research; External Debt; Debt Markets; Emerging Markets; Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress;

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