IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwpif/0510001.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Has 100 Billion Dollars Worth of Debt Relief Done for Low- Income Countries?

Author

Listed:
  • Nicolas Depetris Chauvin

    (Princeton University - Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Aart Kraay

    (World Bank)

Abstract

Between 1989 and 2003, low-income countries received $100 billion in debt relief. The stated objectives for much of this debt relief have been to reduce debt overhang and to free up recipient government resources for development spending that would otherwise have been used for debt service. In this paper we empirically assess the extent to which debt relief has been successful in meeting these objectives, using a newly-constructed database measuring the present value of debt relief for 62 low-income countries. We find little evidence that debt relief has affected the level and composition of public spending in recipient countries. We also do not find evidence that debt relief has raised growth, investment rates or the quality of policies and institutions among recipient countries. Although we cannot rule out the possibility that our failure to find evidence of positive impacts of debt relief is due to a variety of data and statistical problems, the evidence reported here does suggest that some skepticism is in order regarding the likely benefits of further large-scale debt relief.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Depetris Chauvin & Aart Kraay, 2005. "What Has 100 Billion Dollars Worth of Debt Relief Done for Low- Income Countries?," International Finance 0510001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0510001
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 60
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/if/papers/0510/0510001.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jonathan Isham & Daniel Kaufmann, 1999. "The Forgotten Rationale for Policy Reform: The Productivity of Investment Projects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 149-184.
    2. Jean Imbs & Romain Rancière, 2005. "The Overhang Hangover," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 06-03, Swiss Finance Institute.
    3. Henry, Peter B. & Arslanalp, Serkan, 2003. "Helping the Poor to Help Themselves: Debt Relief or Aid?," Research Papers 1838, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    4. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2008. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 643-665, November.
    5. 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.
    6. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
    7. Serkan Arslanalp & Peter Blair Henry, 2005. "Is Debt Relief Efficient?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 1017-1051, April.
    8. Burnside Craig & Fanizza Domenico, 2005. "Hiccups for HIPCs? Implications of Debt Relief for Fiscal Sustainability and Monetary Policy," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-39, May.
    9. Baunsgaard, Thomas & Keen, Michael, 2010. "Tax revenue and (or?) trade liberalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 563-577, October.
    10. 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.
    11. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 774-780, June.
    12. Feyzioglu, Tarhan & Swaroop, Vinaya & Zhu, Min, 1998. "A Panel Data Analysis of the Fungibility of Foreign Aid," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 29-58, January.
    13. Craig Burnside & David Dollar, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 781-784, June.
    14. Christina Daseking & Robert Powell, 1999. "From Toronto Terms to the HIPC Initiative; A Brief History of Debt Relief for Low-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 99/142, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt Relief; HIPC; Low-Income Countries; Debt;

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0510001. 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: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: http://econwpa.repec.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.