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.
Kadima Kalonji, Boileau Loko, Raj Nallari, and Montfort Mlachila
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper explores the relationship between external debt and poverty. A number of observers have argued that high external indebtedness is a major cause of poverty. Using the first-differenced general method of moments (GMM) estimator, the paper models the impact of external debt on poverty, measured by life expectancy, infant mortality, and gross primary enrollment rates, while duly taking into account the impact of external debt on income. The paper thus endeavors to bring together the literature that links external debt with income growth and poverty. The main conclusion is that once the effect of income on poverty has been taken into account, external indebtedness indicators have a limited but important impact on poverty.