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Is High Public Debt Always Harmful to Economic Growth? Reinhart and Rogoff and some complex nonlinearities

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  • Alexandru Minea

    (CERDI (University of Auvergne), 65 Boulevard François Mitterrand, BP 320, 63009 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 1, France.)

  • Antoine Parent

    (BETA-REGLES (University of Nancy 2), 13 Place Carnot, CO 26, 54035 Nancy Cedex.)

Abstract

In their already-famous 2010 article “Growth-in-a-Time-of-Debt” (AER-100(2)-pp.-573-78), Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff show that average post-WW2 economic growth is dramatically declining in advanced economies, once the debt-to-GDP ratio is above a 90% threshold. We explore the relevance of this exogenous threshold using up-to-date econometric techniques, and reveal an endogenously-estimated threshold around a debt-to-GDP ratio of 115%, above which the negative debt-growth link changes sign. Consequently, additional evidence is needed before suggesting policy recommendations regarding growth effects of fiscal policy in such high debt regimes, which may be subject to complex nonlinearities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its series Working Papers with number 12-08.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:afc:wpaper:12-08

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  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," NBER Working Papers 15639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "A Historical Public Debt Database," IMF Working Papers 10/245, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Antoine Parent, 2012. "A critical note on "This time is different"," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(2), pages 211-219, May.
  4. González, Andrés & Teräsvirta, Timo & van Dijk, Dick, 2005. "Panel Smooth Transition Regression Models," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 604, Stockholm School of Economics.
  5. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2013. "Sovereigns versus Banks: Credit, Crises, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 4431, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Ugo Panizza & Andrea F. Presbitero, 2013. "Public Debt and Economic Growth in Advanced Economies: A Survey," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(II), pages 175-204, June.
  3. Lof, Matthijs & Malinen, Tuomas, 2014. "Does sovereign debt weaken economic growth? A panel VAR analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 403-407.
  4. Markus Eberhardt & Andrea F. Presbitero, 2013. "This Time They’re Different: Heterogeneity and Nonlinearity in the Relationship between Debt and Growth," Discussion Papers 2013/10, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
  5. Balázs Égert, 2013. "The 90% public debt threshold: The rise and fall of a stylised fact," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-23, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  6. Balazs Egert, 2013. "The 90% Public Debt Threshold: The Rise & Fall of a Stylised Fact," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1048, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. Andros Kourtellos & Thanasis Stengos & Chih Ming Tan, 2012. "The Effect of Public Debt on Growth in Multiple Regimes," Working Paper Series 60_12, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.

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