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

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Author Info

  • Alexandru Minea

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

  • Antoine Parent

    (BETA REGLES - BETA REGLES - Université de Nancy 2)

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 HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00700471.

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Date of creation: 23 May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00700471

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Keywords: public debt; economic growth; nonlinear effects; cliometrics;

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," NBER Working Papers 15639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," Scholarly Articles 11129154, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "A Historical Public Debt Database," IMF Working Papers 10/245, International Monetary Fund.
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Cited by:
  1. Andros Kourtellos & Thanasis Stengos & Chih Ming Tan, 2012. "The Effect of Public Debt on Growth in Multiple Regimes," Working Papers 1210, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  2. 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.
  3. Markus Eberhardt & Andrea Filippo Presbitero, 2013. "This Time They're Different: Heterogeneity;and Nonlinearity in the Relationship;between Debt and Growth," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 92, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  4. Lof, Matthijs & Malinen, Tuomas, 2013. "Does sovereign debt weaken economic growth? A Panel VAR analysis," MPRA Paper 52039, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Ugo Panizza & Andrea Filippo Presbitero, 2013. "Public Debt and Economic Growth in Advanced Economies: A Survey," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 78, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  6. Òscar Jordà & Moritz HP. Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2013. "Sovereigns versus Banks: Credit, Crises, and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 19506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Balazs Egert, 2013. "The 90% Public Debt Threshold: The Rise and Fall of a Stylised Fact," CESifo Working Paper Series 4242, CESifo Group Munich.

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