Saving, investment, fiscal deficits, and the external indebtedness of developing countries

Iqbal Mehdi Zaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This paper investigates selected aspects of the external indebtedness of the developing countries. It examines both the theoretical and empirical sides of the debt servicing capacity issue, focussing on the role of domestic savings and investment as well as the budget deficits of the public sector in the recent widening of their current account deficits. The results of the study do not support the proposition that increases in external indebtedness among developing countries reflect overconsumption. Capital inflows did not partly or wholly displace domestic saving for the sample of countries examined; rather, the increase in external deficits can in most cases be accounted for by expansion in investment (relative to total output). However, the author qualifies his basically optimistic conclusions in pointing out that countries' ability to repay debt depends not only on whether initial borrowing sustained consumption or investment. but also, if the latter, on the quality of the investment spending.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)573-588
Number of pages16
JournalWorld Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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