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Inflation Implications of Rising Government Debt

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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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12654.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Publication status: published as Reichlin, Lucrezia and Kenneth West. NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press , 2008.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12654

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Cited by:
  1. Polito, Vito & Wickens, Mike, 2012. "A model-based indicator of the fiscal stance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 526-551.
  2. 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.
  3. Hess Chung & Eric Leeper, 2007. "What Has Financed Government Debt?," Caepr Working Papers 2007-015, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Krause, Michael U. & Moyen, Stéphane, 2013. "Public debt and changing inflation targets," Discussion Papers 06/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  7. Henning Bohn, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of Rising U.S. Government Debt: Privileges at Risk," CESifo Working Paper Series 3079, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Ananda Jayawickrama & Tilak Abeysinghe, 2006. "Sustainability Of Fiscal Deficits: The U.S. Experience 1929-2004," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 05xx, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
  9. 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.
  10. Haider, Adnan & Khan, Safdar Ullah, 2007. "Does Volatility in Government Borrowing Leads to Higher Inflation? Evidence from Pakistan," MPRA Paper 17008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  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. Rodolfo Mendez-Marcano & Jose Pineda, 2014. "Fiscal Sustainability and Economic Growth in Bolivia," Working Papers 1406, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
  13. 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.

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