Working Paper
Does the HIPC Initiative Achieve its Goal of Debt Sustainability?

This paper examines the question if the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative provides a good basis for the HIPCs to exit from repeated debt rescheduling. Building on other reviews of the HIPC Initiative, the paper begins with a short summary of some key problems of the HIPC Initiative. It then reviews critically the growth assumptions of HIPC debt sustainability analyses, whereby the paper examines the changes in (i) public and private capital flows before and after the adoption of the HIPC Initiative, (ii) investment and savings rates, and (iii) sectoral transformations. The last analytical part explores the appropriateness of the HIPC debt sustainability indicators. Before summarizing the main results, the paper makes some suggestions on possible modifications in the HIPC framework that are more likely to provide debt sustainability than the current framework.