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Inflation Implications of Rising Government Debt

In: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006

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  • Chryssi Giannitsarou
  • Andrew Scott

Abstract

The intertemporal budget constraint of the government implies a relationship between a ratio of current liabilities to the primary deficit with future values of inflation, interest rates, GDP and narrow money growth and changes in the primary deficit. This relationship defines a natural measure of fiscal balance and can be used as an accounting identity to examine the channels through which governments achieve fiscal sustainability. We evaluate the ability of this framework to account for the fiscal behaviour of six industrialised nations since 1960. We show how fiscal imbalances are mainly removed through adjustments in the primary deficit (80-100%), with less substantial roles being played by inflation (0-10%) and GDP growth (0-20%). Focusing on the relation between fiscal imbalances and inflation suggests extremely modest interactions. This post WWII evidence suggests that the widely anticipated future increases in fiscal deficits, need not necessarily have a substantial impact on inflation.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Lucrezia Reichlin & Kenneth West, 2008. "NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number reic08-1, May.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 7040.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:7040

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    1. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Nawaz, Muhammad & Iqbal, Muhammad Mazhar & Ali, Amanat & Zaman, Khalid, 2012. "Fiscal Theory of Price Level: A Panel Data Analysis for selected Saarc Countries," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 152-170, September.
    2. Joshua Mason and Arjun Jayadev, . "Fisher Dynamics in Household Debt: The Case of the U.S. 1929-2011," Working Papers 13, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.
    3. Ananda Jayawickrama & Tilak Abeysinghe, 2006. "Sustainability of Fiscal Deficits : The US Experience 1929-2004," Governance Working Papers 21924, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    4. S. Adnan & H.A.S. BUKHARI & Safdar Ullah KHAN, 2008. "Does Volatility In Government Borrowing Leads To Higher Inflation? Evidence From Pakistan," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 3(3(5)_Fall), pages 187-202.
    5. Hess Chung & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "What Has Financed Government Debt?," NBER Working Papers 13425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Hasko, Harri, 2007. "‘Some unpleasant fiscal arithmetic’: the role of monetary and fiscal policy in public debt dynamics since the 1970s," Research Discussion Papers 28/2007, Bank of Finland.
    7. Nicholas Apergis & Arusha Cooray, 2013. "Forecasting fiscal variables: Only a strong growth plan can sustain the Greek austerity programs-Evidence from simultaneous and structural models," CAMA Working Papers 2013-25, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    8. Henning Bohn, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of Rising U.S. Government Debt: Privileges at Risk," CESifo Working Paper Series 3079, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Kriwoluzky, Alexander & Kliem, Martin & Sarferaz, Samad, 2013. "On the low-frequency relationship between public deficits and inflation," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80000, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Rodolfo Mendez-Marcano & Jose Pineda, 2014. "Fiscal Sustainability and Economic Growth in Bolivia," Working Papers 1406, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    11. Bertola, Giuseppe, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Labor Markets at Times of Public Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 8037, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Krause, Michael U. & Moyen, Stéphane, 2013. "Public debt and changing inflation targets," Discussion Papers 06/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.

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