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Federal deficits and the real rate of interest in the United States: A note


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  • Richard Cebula


This brief Note provides strong empirical evidence that federal govern­ment deficits can indeed have a positive and significant impact upon short­ term interest rates; the findings in this paper thereby establish another mechanism for the transmission of crowding out. This study differs from most other studies in the adoption of two particular procedures. First, unlike most (although not all) other related studies, the rate of interest is expressed as a real rate; this is done in simple fashion by subtracting the inflation rate (of the GNP deflator) from the nominal rate of interest (taken to be the 3 month T-bill rate). Second, also unlike most (although not all) other related studies, the deficit is expressed in real terms and then divided by the real GNP level; expressing the deficit in this ratio form enables us to judge the deficit relative to the size of the economy which must finance it. No previous related study to date has adopted both of these procedures, and most studies of this topic have adopted neither procedure.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 53 (1987)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 97-100

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:53:y:1987:i:1:p:97-100

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  1. Mascaro, Angelo & Meltzer, Allan H., 1983. "Long- and short-term interest rates in a risky world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 485-518, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Lee C. Spector, 2005. "Macroeconomic Models and the Determination of Crowding Out," Working Papers 200511, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2006.
  2. Richard Cebula, 1988. "Crowding out, deficits, and interest rates: Reply," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 95-97, July.
  3. Kanhaya Gupta, 1989. "Budget deficits and interest rates in the United States," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(1), pages 87-92, January.


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