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Fiscal fragility: what the past may say about the future

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  • Joshua Aizenman
  • Gurnain Kaur Pasricha

Abstract

The end of the great moderation has profound implications on the assessment of fiscal sustainability. The pertinent issue goes beyond the obvious increase in the stock of public debt/GDP induced by the global recession, to include the neglected perspective that the vulnerabilities associated with a given public debt/GDP increase with the future volatility of key economic variables. We evaluate for a given future projected public debt/GDP, the possible distribution of the fiscal burden or the flow cost of funding debt for each OECD country, assuming that this in future decades resembles that in the past four decades. Fiscal projections may be alarmist if one jumps from the priors of great moderation to the prior of permanent high future burden. Prudent adjustment for countries exposed to heightened vulnerability may entail both short term stabilization and forward looking fiscal reforms.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16478.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16478

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  1. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1981. "The real interest rate: An empirical investigation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 151-200, January.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2010. "De facto Fiscal Space and Fiscal Stimulus: Definition and Assessment," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6dn0n13t, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2011. "The Fiscal Stimulus of 2009-10: Trade Openness, Fiscal Space and Exchange Rate Adjustment," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1vm5d1p4, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  3. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2012. "The Fiscal Stimulus of 2009–2010: Trade Openness, Fiscal Space, and Exchange Rate Adjustment," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 301 - 342.
  4. Aizenman, Joshua & Pasricha, Gurnain Kaur, 2011. "Net Fiscal Stimulus During The Great Recession," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8df5z6j8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  5. Török, Ádám, 2011. "Intézményépítés a túlzott államadósság elleni védekezés érdekében
    [Building institutions to guard against excessive state debt]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 577-591.

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