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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Sebastian Horn

University of Munich

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliations: University of Munich and Kiel Institute

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2020Coping with Disasters: Two Centuries of International Official Lending
with Carmen M. Reinhart, Christoph Trebesch: w27343
Official (government-to-government) lending is much larger than commonly known, often surpassing total private cross-border capital flows, especially during disasters such as wars, financial crises and natural catastrophes. We assemble the first comprehensive long-run dataset of official international lending, covering 230,000 loans, grants and guarantees extended by governments, central banks, and multilateral institutions in the period 1790-2015. Historically, wars have been the main catalyst of government-to-government transfers. The scale of official credits granted in and around WW1 and WW2 was particularly large, easily surpassing the scale of total international bailout lending after the 2008 crash. During peacetime, development finance and financial crises are the main drivers of o...
July 2019China’s Overseas Lending
with Carmen M. Reinhart, Christoph Trebesch: w26050
Compared with China’s pre-eminent status in world trade, its role in global finance is poorly understood. This paper studies the size, characteristics, and determinants of China’s capital exports building a new database of 5000 loans and grants to 152 countries, 1949-2017. We find that 50% of China’s lending to developing countries is not reported to the IMF or World Bank. These “hidden debts” distort policy surveillance, risk pricing, and debt sustainability analyses. Since China’s overseas lending is almost entirely official (state-controlled), the standard “push” and “pull” drivers of private cross-border flows do not apply in the same way.
 
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