Book
Debt Relief for Poor Countries

After a massive international campaign calling attention to the development impact of foreign debt, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative is now underway. But will the HIPC Initiative meet its high expectations? Will debt relief substantially raise growth? How do we make sure that debt relief benefits poor people? And how can we ensure that poor countries do not become highly indebted again? These are some of the key policy issues covered in this rigorous and independent analysis of debt, development, and poverty.

Table of contents
  1. Part I: Evaluating Debt Relief
    Introduction
    Tony Addison, Henrik Hansen, Finn Tarp
  2. Part I: Evaluating Debt Relief
    Debt Dynamics and Contingency Financing: Theoretical Reappraisal of the HIPC Initiative
    Machiko Nissanke, Benno Ferrarini
    Working Paper
    | Debt Dynamics and Contingency Financing
  3. Part I: Evaluating Debt Relief
    Policy Selectivity Forgone: Debt and Donor Behaviour in Africa
    Nancy Birdsall, Stijn Claessens, Ishac Diwan
    Working Paper
    | Will HIPC Matter? The Debt Game and Donor Behaviour in Africa
  4. Part I: Evaluating Debt Relief
    HIPC Debt Relief and Policy Reform Incentives
    Jean-Claude Berthélemy
    Working Paper
    | HIPC Debt Relief and Policy Reform Incentives
  5. Part I: Evaluating Debt Relief
    Resolving the HIPC Problem: Is Good Policy Enough?
    Tony Addison, Aminur Rahman
  6. Part II: Growth Effects of Debt Relief
    External Debt and Growth: Implications for HIPC Countries
    Catherine A. Pattillo, Hélène Poirson, Luca Antonio Ricci
  7. Part II: Growth Effects of Debt Relief
    The Impact of External Aid and External Debt on Growth and Investment
    Henrik Hansen
  8. Part II: Growth Effects of Debt Relief
    External Debt, Growth and the HIPC Initiative: Is the Country Choice Too Narrow?
    Abdur Chowdhury
    Working Paper
    | External Debt and Growth in Developing Countries
  9. Part II: Growth Effects of Debt Relief
    Debt Relief and Growth: A Study of Zambia and Tanzania
    Arne Bigsten, Jörgen Levin, Håkan Persson
    Working Paper
    | Debt Relief and Growth
  10. Part III: Poverty Effects of Debt Relief
    Public Spending and Poverty in Mozambique
    Rasmus Heltberg, Kenneth Simler, Finn Tarp
    Working Paper
    | Public Spending and Poverty in Mozambique
  11. Part III: Poverty Effects of Debt Relief
    Debt Relief, Demand for Education, and Poverty
    Era Dabla-Norris, John M. Matoovu, Paul Wade
    Working Paper
    | Debt Relief, Demand for Education, and Poverty
  12. Part III: Poverty Effects of Debt Relief
    Making Debt Relief Conditionality Pro-Poor
    Oliver Morrissey
    Working Paper
    | Making Debt Relief Conditionality Pro-Poor
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Endorsements

'Can debt relief be a powerful tool for advancing human rights, helping to save literally millions of lives, and for laying the foundations for economic growth, as its proponents often claim? In this pioneering volume, a group of economists challenge some of these unquestioned assumptions. Using empirical evidence, they concluded that: it is difficult to measure accurately the effect of debt relief on economic growth and poverty reduction; that the degree to which debt relief can contribute to poverty reduction largely depends on the existence of hospitable domestic and international policy environment; and that the quality of national institutions determine the effectiveness of debt relief on the ground. These are important and timely contributions that will deepen the debate on debt relief and poverty reduction.' - Fantu Cheru, Professor, School of International Service, American University, USA

'The international financial institutions agreed to debt relief for the poorest countries, under pressure from the countries themselves and a vigorous NGO campaign. This extremely useful book provides in-depth analysis of the results of the debt relief contained in HIPC: they are positive, but small. Unfortunately, as the book demonstrates, HIPC debt relief will not provide the solution to the development problems of most poor countries.' - Frances Stewart, Director, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, UK