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Consequences of Debt Relief Initiatives in the 1990s

  • Ralf Hepp

    (University of California, Davis)

In this paper I investigate the effects of recent debt relief initiatives such as the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative of 1996 on resource flows to developing countries. Focusing on a sample of low-income countries, I concentrate on the following questions. First, is the HIPC initiative selective in the sense of “rewarding” improved policies in HIPC countries with higher transfers? Measuring improvement directly with dummy variables representing progress in the initiative, I find that good macroeconomic management does not seem to matter in terms of the level of resource transfers and foreign aid received by a HIPC country. Second, have HIPCs and non-HIPCs experienced reductions in aid inflows (other than debt relief) in the 1990s and early 2000s? My estimates suggest that countries classified as HIPCs received higher (official and aggregate) net transfers than non- HIPC countries in the first half of the 1990s. These differences persist after 1996, however, at a lower level. Looking at net official development assistance, differences between HIPC countries and non-HIPC countries persist throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, with higher levels of aid going to HIPC countries. Third, have the debt relief initiatives in the 1990s provided additional resources to low-income countries? Confirming findings in earlier literature, my results suggest that aid flows have not changed significantly in response to debt relief.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Finance with number 0510004.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 04 Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0510004
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 36
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  1. Daniel Cohen, 2000. "The HIPC Initiative: True and False Promises," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 166, OECD Publishing.
  2. Chang, Charles C. & Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo & Serven, Luis, 1999. "Measuring aid flows : a new approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2050, The World Bank.
  3. Peter Nunnenkamp & Gustavo Canavire & Luis Triveño, 2004. "Targeting Aid to the Needy and Deserving: Nothing But Promises?," Kiel Working Papers 1229, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. BERLAGE, Lode & CASSIMON, Danny & DREZE, Jacques & REDING, Paul, 2000. "Prospective aid and indebtedness relief: a proposal," CORE Discussion Papers 2000032, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  9. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
  10. Kamau Thugge & Anthony R. Boote, 1997. "Debt Relief for Low-Income Countries and the HIPC Initiative," IMF Working Papers 97/24, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Ralf Hepp, 2005. "Consequences of Debt Relief Initiatives in the 1990s," International Finance 0510004, EconWPA.
  12. Nicolas Depetris Chauvin & Aart Kraay, 2007. "Who Gets Debt Relief?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 333-342, 04-05.
  13. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
  14. Easterly, William, 1999. "How did highly indebted poor countries become highly indebted? : reviewing two decades of debt relief," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2225, The World Bank.
  15. Maizels, Alfred & Nissanke, Machiko K., 1984. "Motivations for aid to developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(9), pages 879-900, September.
  16. Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
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  18. Berthelemy, Jean-Claude & Tichit, Ariane, 2002. "Bilateral Donors' Aid Allocation Decisions: A Three-dimensional Panel Analysis," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  19. Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY & Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Jacky AMPROU, 2006. "Aid Selectivity According to Augmented Criteria," Working Papers 200616, CERDI.
  20. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
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  26. Tito Cordella & Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, 2003. "Budget Support Versus Project Aid," IMF Working Papers 03/88, International Monetary Fund.
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  30. repec:cor:louvrp:-1660 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Dollar, David & Easterly, William, 1999. "The search for the key : aid, investment, and policies in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2070, The World Bank.
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