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.
Ales Bulir, Alma Romero-Barrutieta, and Jose Daniel Rodríguez-Delgado
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
The effects of debt relief on incentives to accumulate debt, consume, and invest are an important concern for donors and recipients. Using a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of a small open economy with a minimum consumption requirement and an endogenous relief probability, we show that excessive debt accumulation is consistent with an anticipation of a future debt relief. Simulations of the calibrated model using 1982-2006 Ugandan data suggest that debt-relief episodes are likely to have only a temporary impact on the level of debt in low-income countries, while being associated with more consumption and less invesment. The long-run debt-to-GDP ratio is estimated to be about twice as high with debt relief than without it.