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New Directions in the Relationship Between Public and Private Debt

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  • Benjamin M. Friedman
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    Abstract

    Until the 1980s the outstanding indebtedness of government and private-sector borrowers in the United States exhibited sufficient negative covariation that total outstanding debt remained steady relative to nonfinancial economic activity. Three hypotheses -- one based on lenders' behavior, one on borrowers? behavior, and one on credit market institutional arrangements -- provide potential explanations for this phenomenon. Since 1980 the U.S. debt markets have departed from these previously prevailing patterns, however, as both government and private borrowing have risen sharply.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2186.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2186.

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    Date of creation: Mar 1987
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    Publication status: published as Friedman, Benjamin M. "New Directions in the Relation Between Public and Private Debt." Science, Vol. 236, No. 4800, (April 24, 1987), pp. 397-403.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2186

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    1. Raymond W. Goldsmith & Robert E. Lipsey & Morris Mendelson, 1963. "Studies in the National Balance Sheet of the United States, Vol. 2," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold63-2, June.
    2. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1982. "Debt and Economic Activity in the United States," NBER Working Papers 0704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1988. "Lessons On Monetary Policy From The 1980's," NBER Working Papers 2551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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