700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2006||Debt Relief|
with Peter Blair Henry: w12187
The G-8 Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) is the next step of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC). There are two reasons why MDRI is unlikely to help poor countries. First, the amount of money at stake is trivial. The roughly $2 billion of annual debt payments to be relieved under MDRI amounts to roughly 0.01 percent of the GDP of the OECD countries%u2014a mere one-seventieth (1/70) of the quantity of official development assistance agreed to by world leaders on at least three separate occasions (1970, 1992, 2002). Second, the existence of debt overhang is a necessary condition for debt relief to generate economic gains. Since the world's poorest countries do not suffer from debt overhang, debt relief is unlikely to stimulate their investment and growth. The princ...
Published: Arslanalp, Serkan and Peter Blair Henry. "Debt Relief," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2006, v20(1,Winter), 207-220.
|January 2004||Helping the Poor to Help Themselves: Debt Relief or Aid|
with Peter Blair Henry: w10230
Debt relief is unlikely to stimulate investment and growth in the world's highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs). This is because the HIPCs do not suffer from debt overhang. The principal obstacle to investment and growth in the world's poorest countries is a lack of basic economic institutions that provide the foundation for profitable economic activity. If the goal is to help poor countries build the institutions that best suit their development needs, then the energy and resources currently devoted to the HIPC initiative could be more effectively employed as direct foreign aid.
Published: Jochnick, Chris and Fraser A. Preston (eds.) Sovereign Debt at the Crossroads. Oxford University Press, 2006.
|Is Debt Relief Efficient?|
with Peter Blair Henry: w10217
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 v...
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
|December 2002||Debt Relief: What Do the Markets Think?|
with Peter Blair Henry: w9369
The stock market appreciates by an average of 60 percent in real dollar terms when countries announce debt relief agreements under the Brady Plan. In contrast, there is no significant increase in market value for a control group of countries that do not sign agreements. The results persist after controlling for IMF agreements, trade liberalizations, capital account liberalizations, and privatization programs. The stock market revaluations forecast higher future net resource transfers and GDP growth. While markets respond favorably to debt relief in the Brady countries, there is no evidence to suggest that current debt relief efforts for the Highly-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) will achieve similar results.