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Long-Run Debt Sustainability and Threshold Adjustments: Non-Linear Empirical Evidence from the GIIPS

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  • Gabriella Legrenzi

    ()
    (Keele University, CESifo, Rimini Centre for Economic Research)

  • Costas Milas

    ()
    (Liverpool University, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, eranistis.gr)

Abstract

We assess the sustainability of the public finances of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain (GIIPS), allowing for possible non-linearities in the form of threshold behaviour of the fiscal authorities. We provide some evidence of fiscal sustainability when debt gets “too high” relative to a threshold which is not necessarily fixed but varies with the level of debt relative to its recent history and/or the occurrence of a financial crisis. However, the Greek and Italian debt-to-GDP threshold levels (over which adjustment takes place) exceed 87% and rise further in periods of financial crises. This arguably adds to international investors' concerns, and as a result, raises the yields demanded for holding Greek and Italian debt. As debt is rolled over at high interest rates, fiscal prospects worsen making default more likely and adding to contagion effects from one Eurozone country to another.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2012/Volume32/EB-12-V32-I3-P247.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 32 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 2586-2593

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00671

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Keywords: debt sustainability; financial crisis;

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References

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  1. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," Scholarly Articles 11129154, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Arghyrou, Michael G & Kul B Luintel, 2003. "Government Solvency: Revisiting some EMU Countries," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 8, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
  4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," NBER Working Papers 15639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Antonio Afonso, 2004. "Fiscal Sustainability: the Unpleasant European Case," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 57, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  6. Lin, Chien-Fu Jeff & Terasvirta, Timo, 1994. "Testing the constancy of regression parameters against continuous structural change," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 211-228, June.
  7. Gabriella Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2012. "Nonlinearities And The Sustainability Of The Government'S Intertemporal Budget Constraint," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(4), pages 988-999, October.
  8. Georgios Chortareas & George Kapetanios & Merih Uctum, 2008. "Nonlinear Alternatives to Unit Root Tests and Public Finances Sustainability: Some Evidence from Latin American and Caribbean Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(5), pages 645-663, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Piergallini, Alessandro & Postigliola, Michele, 2013. "Non-linear budgetary policies: Evidence from 150 years of Italian public finance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 495-498.

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