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Fiscal discipline and the cost of public dept service: some estiames for OECD countries

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  • Ardagna, Silvia
  • Caselli, Francesco
  • Lane, Timothy

Abstract

We use a panel of 16 OECD countries over several decades to investigate the effects of government debts and deficits on long-term interest rates. In simple static specifications, a one-percentage-point increase in the primary deficit relative to GDP increases contemporaneous long-term interest rates by about 10 basis points. In a vector autoregression (VAR), the same shock leads to a cumulative increase of almost 150 basis points after 10 years. The effect of debt on interest rates is non-linear: only for countries with above-average levels of debt does an increase in debt affect the interest rate. World fiscal policy is also important: an increase in total OECD-government borrowing increases each country's interest rates. However, domestic fiscal policy continues to affect domestic interest rates even after controlling for worldwide debts and deficits. JEL Classification: E62, E44, H62

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0411.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20040411

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Keywords: Governement deficit; long-term interest rates; public debt;

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  1. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1990. "World Real Interest Rates," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 15-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Afonso, Antonio & Strauch, Rolf, 2007. "Fiscal policy events and interest rate swap spreads: Evidence from the EU," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 261-276, July.
  3. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2002. "Should the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve be concerned about fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 333-389.
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