The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Toan Nguyen, Benedict Clements, and Rina Bhattacharya
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper examines the channels through which external debt affects growth in low-income countries. Our results suggest that the substantial reduction in the stock of external debt projected for highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs) would directly increase per capita income growth by about 1 percentage point per annum. Reductions in external debt service could also provide an indirect boost to growth through their effects on public investment. If half of all debt-service relief were channeled for such purposes without increasing the budget deficit, then growth could accelerate in some HIPCs by an additional 0.5 percentage point per annum.