Debt Reduction, Adjustment Lending, and Burden Sharing

62 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2000 Last revised: 5 Jan 2002

See all articles by Ishac Diwan

Ishac Diwan

World Bank - Ethiopia Office; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Dani Rodrik

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 1992

Abstract

We argue that the disincentive effect of a debt overhang is generally small and consequently that debt reduction does not lead to important efficiency gains on this account. Instead, we develop a framework that highlights the inefficiency created by the liquidity constraint faced by over-indebted countries. Often, adjustment/investment opportunities that are profitable at the world interest rate cannot be undertaken for lack of sufficient funds. New creditors are deterred from investing as they expect to be 'taxed" by the old creditors who stand to gain disproportionately. This leads to an inefficient situation when a class of new creditors have a comparative advantage relative to the old creditors. We focus on the time inconsistency introduced by the shortage of liquidity. New (unconditional) loans will be consumed rather than invested. In this context conditional lending can release the liquidity constraint in a time consistent way and lead to efficiency gains that can be shared between the debtor, the old creditors, and the new creditors. The role of debt reduction then is to create the "headroom" needed for these new and more efficient creditors to step in

Suggested Citation

Diwan, Ishac and Rodrik, Dani, Debt Reduction, Adjustment Lending, and Burden Sharing (March 1992). NBER Working Paper No. w4007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226899

Ishac Diwan (Contact Author)

World Bank - Ethiopia Office ( email )

United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Dani Rodrik

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-9454 (Phone)
617-496-5747 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/rodrik/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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