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Debt sustainability in the European Monetary Union: Theory and empirical evidence for selected countries

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  • Alfred Greiner
  • Uwe Köller
  • Willi Semmler

Abstract

This paper studies the sustainability of fiscal policy for selected Euro-area countries. We focus on those countries that either have a high debt to GDP ratio (Italy) or have recently violated the Maastricht treaty by permitting more than three percent of the deficit to GDP ratio (France, Germany, and Portugal). We apply an approach developed by Bohn who proposes to study whether the primary surplus to GDP ratio is a positive function of the debt to GDP ratio which does not need arbitrary discount rates that other approaches have to assume. By controlling for the impact of other variables in this process, we can show that for the above mentioned countries fiscal policy shows evidence for sustainability, although the three percent rule of the Maastricht treaty might temporarily be violated. We also compare our results from the Euro-area countries to results obtained for the US fiscal policy. Copyright 2007 , Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 59 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 194-218

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:59:y:2007:i:2:p:194-218

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Cited by:
  1. Maria do Rosario Correia & Reinhard Neck & Theodore Panagiotidis & Christian Richter, 2008. "An empirical investigation of the sustainability of the public deficit in Portugal," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 209-223, July.
  2. Zimmer, Jochen & Weichenrieder, Alfons, 2013. "Euro Membership and Fiscal Reaction Functions," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80045, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Alfred Greiner, 2011. "Economic Growth, Public Debt and Welfare: Comparing Three Budgetary Rules," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(2), pages 205-222, 05.
  4. Eleftherios Goulas & Athina Zervoyianni, 2012. "Growth, Deficits and Uncertainty in a Panel of 28 Countries," Working Paper Series 52_12, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  5. Eleftherios Goulas & Athina Zervoyianni, 2013. "Growth, Deficits and Uncertainty: Theoretical Aspects and Empirical Evidence," Working Paper Series 53_13, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  6. Gabriella Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2011. "Debt Sustainability and Financial Crises: Evidence from the GIIPS," Working Paper Series 42_11, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  7. Christian Schoder, 2013. "The fundamentals of sovereign debt sustainability: Evidence from 15 OECD countries," IMK Working Paper 107-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  8. Goulas, Eleftherios & Zervoyianni, Athina, 2013. "Growth, deficits and uncertainty: Theoretical aspects and empirical evidence from a panel of 27 countries," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 380-392.
  9. Greiner, Alfred, 2012. "Public debt in a basic endogenous growth model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1344-1348.
  10. Greiner, Alfred & Kauermann, Göran, 2008. "Debt policy in euro area countries: Evidence for Germany and Italy using penalized spline smoothing," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1144-1154, November.
  11. Jean-Michel Courtault & Riccardo Magnani, 2012. "How much can European governments squeeze out of their taxpayers?," CEPN Working Papers hal-00744544, HAL.
  12. Baumöhl, Eduard & Výrost, Tomáš & Lyócsa, Štefan, 2011. "Are we able to capture the EU debt crisis? Evidence from PIIGGS countries in panel unit root framework," MPRA Paper 30334, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Alfred Greiner & Uwe Koeller & Willi Semmler, 2006. "Testing the sustainability of German fiscal policy: evidence for the period 1960–2003," Empirica, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 127-140, June.
  14. Nickel, Christiane & Rother, Philipp & Zimmermann, Lilli, 2010. "Major public debt reductions: Lessons from the past, lessons for the future," Working Paper Series 1241, European Central Bank.
  15. Jean-Michel Courtault & Riccardo Magnani, 2012. "How much can European governments squeeze out of their taxpayers?," Working Papers hal-00744544, HAL.
  16. Tilak Abeysinghe & Ananda Jayawickrama, 2013. "A segmented trend model to assess fiscal sustainability: The US experience 1929–2009," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1129-1141, June.
  17. Alfred Greiner, 2010. "Does the 'Golden Rule of Public Finance' imply a lower long-run growth rate? A clarification," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 975-982.
  18. Gabriella Deborah Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2010. "Spend-and-Tax Adjustments and the Sustainability of the Government's Intertemporal Budget Constraint," CESifo Working Paper Series 2926, CESifo Group Munich.

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