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Financial Stress and the Impact of Public Debt on UK Growth in High versus Low-Growth Regimes: 1850-2013

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  • Costas Milas

    ()
    (University of Liverpool, UK; Rimini Centre of Economic Analysis, Italy)

Abstract

Using a long historical dataset, we estimate a Threshold Vector Autoregression (T-VAR) model for the UK based on a financial stress measure, the debt-to-GDP ratio, borrowing costs and real GDP growth. Our model allows for the impact of debt/GDP to vary between periods of high and low economic growth. We find that financial stress depresses growth much more in the low as opposed to the high-growth regime. We also find that positive shocks to debt/GDP depress economic growth and raise borrowing costs; again, the impact is much stronger when growth is low. This is an important finding as economists and policy-makers are currently debating whether it makes sense to proceed swiftly with fiscal consolidation when economic conditions remain weak.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 13_14.

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Date of creation: Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:13_14

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Keywords: Debt; financial stress; GDP growth regimes;

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  1. Lof, Matthijs & Malinen, Tuomas, 2013. "Does sovereign debt weaken economic growth? A Panel VAR analysis," MPRA Paper 52039, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Bruneau, C. & de Bandt, O. & El Amri, W., 2012. "Macroeconomic fluctuations and corporate financial fragility," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 219-235.
  3. Baum, Anja & Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Rother, Philipp, 2012. "Debt and growth: new evidence for the euro area," Working Paper Series 1450, European Central Bank.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2003. "The Band Pass Filter," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 435-465, 05.
  5. Pesaran, M. H. & Shin, Y., 1997. "Generalised Impulse Response Analysis in Linear Multivariate Models," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9710, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Cardarelli, Roberto & Elekdag, Selim & Lall, Subir, 2011. "Financial stress and economic contractions," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 78-97, June.
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 7661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jaromír Baxa & Roman Horváth & Borek Vasícek, 2011. "Monetary Policy Rules and Financial Stress: Does Financial Instability Matter for Monetary," Working Papers wpdea1101, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  9. Stephan Danninger & Irina Tytell & Ravi Balakrishnan & Selim Elekdag, 2009. "The Transmission of Financial Stress From Advanced to Emerging Economies," IMF Working Papers 09/133, International Monetary Fund.
  10. MacKinnon, James G, 1996. "Numerical Distribution Functions for Unit Root and Cointegration Tests," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 601-18, Nov.-Dec..
  11. Eric M. Engen & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2005. "Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 83-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Cevik, Emrah Ismail & Dibooglu, Sel & Kutan, Ali M., 2013. "Measuring financial stress in transition economies," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 597-611.
  13. 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.
  14. Nathan S. Balke, 2000. "Credit and Economic Activity: Credit Regimes and Nonlinear Propagation of Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 344-349, May.
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