NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Is Debt Relief Efficient?

Serkan Arslanalp, Peter Blair Henry

NBER Working Paper No. 10217
Issued in January 2004
NBER Program(s):   IFM

When Less Developed Countries (LDCs) announce debt relief agreements under the Brady Plan, their stock markets appreciate by an average of 60 percent in real dollar terms a $42 billion increase in shareholder value. In contrast, there is no significant stock market increase for a control group of LDCs that do not sign Brady agreements. The results persist after controlling for IMF programs, trade liberalizations, capital account liberalizations, and privatization programs. The stock market appreciations successfully forecast higher future net resource transfers, investment and growth. Creditors also benefit from the Brady Plan. Controlling for other factors, stock prices of US commercial banks with significant LDC loan exposure rise by 35 percent a $13 billion increase in shareholder value. The results suggest that debt relief can generate large efficiency gains when the borrower suffers from debt overhang.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10217

Published: Serkan Arslanalp & Peter Blair Henry, 2005. "Is Debt Relief Efficient?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 1017-1051, 04. citation courtesy of

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