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Government Debt and Excess Sensitivity of Private Consumption: Estimates from OECD Countries

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  • Lorenzo Pozzi
  • Freddy Heylen
  • Maarten Dossche

Abstract

This article investigates the role of government debt in the degree of excess sensitivity of private consumption to current disposable income. Because this type of excess sensitivity is generally attributed to liquidity constraints, this amounts to a test of the impact of government debt on the amount of credit extended to individuals. Controlling for financial liberalization we find that, for a panel of OECD countries in the 1990s, a high government debt leads to more excess sensitivity. This result supports the idea that a high government debt induces lenders to tighten credit conditions. Our findings survive several robustness checks. (JEL E21, E62, C33) Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbh085
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 42 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 618-633

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:42:y:2004:i:4:p:618-633

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Cited by:
  1. Berben, Robert-Paul & Brosens, Teunis, 2007. "The impact of government debt on private consumption in OECD countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 220-225, February.
  2. G. Peersman & L. Pozzi, 2004. "Determinants of consumption smoothing," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/231, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  3. F. Heylen & A. Hoebeeck & T. Buyse, 2011. "Fiscal consolidation, institutions and institutional reform: a multivariate analysis of public debt dynamics," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/763, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  4. Gert Peersman & Lorenzo Pozzi, 2008. "Business Cycle Fluctuations and Excess Sensitivity of Private Consumption," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(299), pages 514-523, 08.
  5. Heylen, Freddy & Hoebeeck, Annelies & Buyse, Tim, 2013. "Government efficiency, institutions, and the effects of fiscal consolidation on public debt," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 40-59.
  6. Robert-Paul Berben & Teunis Brosens, 2005. "The Impact of Government Debt on Private Consumption in OECD Countries," DNB Working Papers 045, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  7. Yoichi Matsubayashi & Takao Fujii, 2012. "Substitutability of Savings by Sectors: OECD Experiences," Discussion Papers 1215, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.

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