Growth in a Time of Debt
AbstractWe study economic growth and inflation at different levels of government and external debt. Our analysis is based on new data on forty-four countries spanning about two hundred years. The dataset incorporates over 3,700 annual observations covering a wide range of political systems, institutions, exchange rate arrangements, and historic circumstances. Our main findings are: First, the relationship between government debt and real GDP growth is weak for debt/GDP ratios below a threshold of 90 percent of GDP. Above 90 percent, median growth rates fall by one percent, and average growth falls considerably more. We find that the threshold for public debt is similar in advanced and emerging economies. Second, emerging markets face lower thresholds for external debt (public and private)âwhich is usually denominated in a foreign currency. When external debt reaches 60 percent of GDP, annual growth declines by about two percent; for higher levels, growth rates are roughly cut in half. Third, there is no apparent contemporaneous link between inflation and public debt levels for the advanced countries as a group (some countries, such as the United States, have experienced higher inflation when debt/GDP is high.) The story is entirely different for emerging markets, where inflation rises sharply as debt increases.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Other versions of this item:
- E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
- H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Reposting from my Forbes blog: the debate on Debt and GDP
by Richard Green in Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog on 2013-04-18 16:53:00
- Crecimiento econÃ³mico y deuda pÃºblica
by ? in Tiempo Económico on 2013-04-21 20:23:21
- Scene dalla vita di provincia: prefazione
by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2013-06-27 08:04:00
- Some thoughts on the Reinhart and Rogoff debate
by Gray in Pseudo-true News on 2013-04-24 05:06:23
- Brief notes before April 17th macro lecture
by Gray in Pseudo-true News on 2013-04-17 07:08:11
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