Journal Of Economic Groth2013-09-05 2:57 AM

History’s a curse: leapfrogging, growth breaks and growth reversals under international borrowing without commitment - Springer

Abstract A simple open-economy AK model with collateral constraints accounts for growth breaks and growth-reversal episodes, during which countries face abrupt changes in their growth rate that may lead to either growth miracles or growth disasters. Absent commitment to investment by the borrowing country, imperfect contract enforcement leads to an informational lag such that the debt contracted upon today depends upon the past stock of capital. The no-commitment delay originates a history effect by which the richer a country has been in the past, the more it can borrow today. For (arbitrarily) small delays, the history effect offsets the growth benefits from international borrowing and dampens growth, and it leads to both leapfrogging in long-run levels and growth breaks. When large enough, the history effect originates growth reversals and we connect the latter to leapfrogging. Finally, we argue that the model accords with the reported evidence on changes in the growth rate at break dates. We also provide examples showing that leapfrogging and growth reversals may coexist, so that currently poor but fast-growing countries experiencing sharp growth reversals may end up, in the long-run, significantly richer than currently rich but declining countries.

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Journal Of Economic Groth

The Journal of Economic Growth is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering research in economic growth and dynamic macroeconomics. It was established in 1996 and is published by Springer Science+Business Media. The journal deals with both theories and their empirics, and examines the entire array of subject areas in economic growth, including neoclassical and endogenous growth models, growth and income distribution, human capital, fertility, trade, development, migration, money, the political e

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