External Debt Sustainability: Theory and Empirical Evidence
This paper is a review of the different approaches on external debt sustainability. The Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative was launched to assure a permanent exit from debt dependence. However, the IMF-World Bank program is not without faults, in particular for what concerns debt sustainability analysis. The aim of this work is to present the IMF-World Bank approach to debt sustainability, together with the other approaches in the literature. We show that a new and broader framework is emerging to address the main shortcomings of the standard analysis, namely, the effects that large external debts and deficits have on growth and the macroeconomic environment.
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