NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Borrowing Abroad: The Debtor's Perspective

Richard N. Cooper, Jeffrey Sachs

NBER Working Paper No. 1427
Issued in August 1984
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment, International Finance and Macroeconomics

This paper addresses the question of external borrowing from the perspective of the borrowing country. The first section sketches a formal framework for optimal borrowing by a developing country, as seen from the planner's point of view. The next three sections use this framework for the development of three important limits on external borrowing: the problem of solvency, the problem of liquidity and the problem created by the possibility of repudiation. The fifth section relates external borrowing to macroeconomic management of the borrowing country, and the sixth section pulls together the many factors that suggest that external debt of a country should be subject to central management or at least surveillance. Following that, we offer some guidelines for limits to the magnitude of external debt, and then discuss the character or mix of external debt. In an appendix, we present various simulation exercises for optimal debt management in a discrete-time infinite-horizon setting.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1427

Published: Cooper, Richard N. and Jeffrey D. Sachs. "Borrowing Abroad: The Debtor's Perspective." International Debt and Developing Countries, edited by Gordon W. Smith and John T. Cuddington. Washington: World Bank Symposium, (March 1985), Washington: D.C.

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