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The Impact of Government Debt on Private Consumption in OECD Countries

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  • Robert-Paul Berben
  • Teunis Brosens
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    Abstract

    Using data for 17 OECD countries from 1983 to 2003, this paper establishes a non-linear relationship between private consumption and the level of government debt. In countries with a high level of government debt, a fiscal expansion is partly crowded out by a fall in private consumption. In contrast, in low debt countries, private consumption is insensitive to changes in government debt. This means that fiscal policy will be less effective in stabilising business cycle fluctuations at higher levels of government debt.

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    File URL: http://www.dnb.nl/binaries/Working%20Paper%2045_tcm46-146702.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 045.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:045

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    Keywords: consumption; government debt; panel data;

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    References

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    1. Choi, In, 2001. "Unit root tests for panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 249-272, April.
    2. Douglas W. Elmendorf & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1998. "Government Debt," NBER Working Papers 6470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Gregory Mankiw, N., 1999. "Government debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1615-1669 Elsevier.
    3. Luiz de Mello & Per Mathis Kongsrud & Robert W.R. Price, 2004. "Saving Behaviour and the Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 397, OECD Publishing.
    4. M Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Ron P Smith, 2004. "Pooled mean group estimation of dynamic heterogeneous panels," ESE Discussion Papers 16, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
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    6. Sutherland, Alan, 1995. "Fiscal Crises and Aggregate Demand: Can High Public Debt Reverse the Effects of Fiscal Policy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Becker, Torbjorn, 1997. "An investigation of Ricardian equivalence in a common trends model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 405-431, August.
    8. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
    9. Linnemann, Ludger & Schabert, Andreas, 2004. "Can fiscal spending stimulate private consumption?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 173-179, February.
    10. Vincent Hogan, 2003. "Expansionary Fiscal Contractions? Evidence from Panel Data," Working Papers 200303, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
    11. Alexander Ludwig & Torsten Sløk, 2002. "The Impact of Changes in Stock Prices and House Prices on Consumption in OECD Countries," IMF Working Papers 02/1, International Monetary Fund.
    12. 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.
    13. Roberto Ricciuti, 2003. "Assessing Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 55-78, February.
    14. Lorenzo Pozzi & Freddy Heylen & Maarten Dossche, 2004. "Government Debt and Excess Sensitivity of Private Consumption: Estimates from OECD Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 618-633, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 2004. "Public Debt as Private Wealth," Discussion Papers in Economics 371, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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