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The debt trap: a two-compartment train wreck

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  • Artzrouni, Marc
  • Tramontana, Fabio

Abstract

We aim to shed light on the debate among policy-makers trying to find prescriptions that will take troubled economies out of their debt trap. We do this with a highly stylized two-compartment dynamic model consisting of the stocks of money in Government and Society. The dynamics of the system are described by a simple four-parameter linear system of two differential equations. The solutions are investigated in closed form and provide precisely quantified "escape conditions" from the debt trap: receipts must be slightly larger than outlays and there must be sufficient annual inflows of funds into the system. The model fits the data for the U.S. between 1981 and 2012 with a coefficient of correlation of 0.996. The model is used to extrapolate the two stocks beyond 2012 with three escape scenarios which shed light on monetary flows needed to take the U.S. economy out of its debt trap.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 47578.

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Date of creation: 13 Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47578

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Keywords: Compartmental model; debt; system of differential equations; dynamical system; fiscal policy.;

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  1. Krugman, Paul, 2000. "How Complicated Does the Model Have to Be?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 33-42, Winter.
  2. Fabio Tramontana & Mauro Gallegati, 2010. "Economics as a compartmental system: a simple macroeconomic example," Working Papers 1011, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2010.
  3. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 7661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Annicchiarico, Barbara & Di Dio, Fabio & Felici, Francesco, 2013. "Structural reforms and the potential effects on the Italian economy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 88-109.
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  6. Rossana Merola & Douglas Sutherland, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 3. Long-Run Projections and Fiscal Gap Calculations," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 934, OECD Publishing.
  7. Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Sanchez Fuentes, Jesus & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2010. "Towards expenditure rules and fiscal sanity in the euro area," Working Paper Series 1266, European Central Bank.
  8. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," Scholarly Articles 11129154, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Salvatore, Dominick, 2010. "Growth or stagnation after recession for the U.S. and other large advanced economies," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 637-647, September.
  10. Saunoris, James W. & Payne, James E., 2010. "Tax more or spend less? Asymmetries in the UK revenue-expenditure nexus," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 478-487, July.
  11. Marattin, Luigi & Marzo, Massimiliano & Zagaglia, Paolo, 2011. "A welfare perspective on the fiscal–monetary policy mix: The role of alternative fiscal instruments," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 920-952.
  12. Thomas Herndon & Michael Ash & Robert Pollin, 2013. "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogo ff," Working Papers wp322, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  13. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2010. "Modern macroeconomic models as tools for economic policy," The Region, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue May, pages 5-21.
  14. Estrada, Mario Arturo Ruiz & Yap, Su Fei, 2013. "The origins and evolution of policy modeling," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 170-182.
  15. Ratto, Marco & Roeger, Werner & Veld, Jan in 't, 2009. "QUEST III: An estimated open-economy DSGE model of the euro area with fiscal and monetary policy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 222-233, January.
  16. John Komlos & Marc Artzrouni, . "Mathematical Investigations of the Escape from the Malthusian Trap," Articles by John Komlos 24, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
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