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I would like to thank Tamim Bayoumi, Graham Bird, Corinne Delechat, Alex Mourmouras, John Nankervis, Doris Ross, Howard White, and IMF colleagues in the Policy Development and Review Department, the Fiscal Affairs Department, the Research Department, and the IMF Institute for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. I am, however, solely responsible for any remaining errors.
For the purposes of this paper, debt relief is defined as action taken by the creditor that reduces the present value of its financial claim on the debtor. Nonconcessional refinancing or rescheduling—although it may provide cash-flow relief—would therefore not count as debt relief in this context.
IDA-only countries are low-income countries that the World Bank has designated uncreditworthy and eligible for World Bank Group loans only on highly concessional IDA (International Development Association) terms.
This is the so called population bias that has been noted by Dowling and Heimenz (1985), among others.