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.
Constance de Soyres, Anna Rogantini Picco, and Randa Sab
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper focuses on the debt build-up that frontier low-income developing countries
(LIDCs) have faced since 2012. First, it documents a 20-percentage point increase in the external and government debt-to-GDP ratios, a composition shift toward higher non-concessional debt, and a rise in interest rate payments. Second, using panel regressions, it shows that while both global and country-specific factors are correlated with debt-to-GDP ratios over 1998-2016, global factors dominate for the period 2012-16. Third, through a small open-economy model, it shows that the projected tightening in global financial conditions would reduce debt-to-GDP ratios by less than the increase associated with the expected rise in investment.