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Can Debt Relief Buy Growth?

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  • Ralf Hepp

    (University of California, Davis)

Abstract

The purpose of the paper is twofold. First, I investigate whether numerous debt initiatives during the 1980s and 1990s have had a significant effect on economic growth rates in developing countries in general. The major initiatives during that time period were negotiated as bilateral agreements under the guidance of the Paris Club of Creditors. These agreements were complemented later on by the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief initiative in 1996 and its “enhanced” version in 1999. I find that, on average, debt relief has no effect on growth rates of developing countries. The second question I address in this paper is whether the effect on growth rates was different for different subsets of developing countries. I find that countries that are not classified as HIPC have benefited significantly from debt relief, whereas the growth rates of HIPC countries have been unaffected.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralf Hepp, 2005. "Can Debt Relief Buy Growth?," International Finance 0510003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0510003
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    Cited by:

    1. Bjørnskov, Christian & Schröder, Philipp J.H., 2013. "Are debt repayment incentives undermined by foreign aid?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1073-1091.
    2. Arturo C. Porzecanski, 2007. "Debt Relief by Private and Official Creditors: The Record Speaks," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 191-214, July.
    3. Museru, Malimu & Toerien, Francois & Gossel, Sean, 2014. "The Impact of Aid and Public Investment Volatility on Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 138-147.
    4. Winston Moore & Chrystol Thomas, 2010. "A meta-analysis of the relationship between debt and growth," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 9(3), pages 214-225, September.
    5. Johansson, Pernilla, 2008. "Debt Relief, Investment and Growth," Working Papers 2008:11, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    6. Djimeu, Eric W., 2018. "The impact of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative on growth and investment in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 108-127.
    7. Ms. Ivetta Hakobyan & Ms. Sandra Marcelino, 2014. "Does Lower Debt Buy Higher Growth? The Impact of Debt Relief Initiatives on Growth," IMF Working Papers 2014/230, International Monetary Fund.
    8. SAUNGWEME, Talknice & ODHIAMBO, Nicholas M., 2018. "Public Debt Service And Economic Growth: A Survey Of International Literature," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 18(2), pages 129-142.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    HIPC debt initiative; foreign aid; growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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