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In Search Of An Optimal Debt Ratio For Economic Growth

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  • David J. Smyth
  • Yu Hsing

Abstract

This paper extends the work of Barro (1979), Eisner (1992), foines (1991), Sawhney and DiPietro (1994), and others and examines whether an optimal debt ratio exists that will maximize economic growth. The growth rate of real GDP is specified as a function of the debt ratio, the debt ratio squared, the growth rates of labor employment, capital services, money stock, and a trend variable. The sample ranges from 1960 to 1991. Hypothesis tests show that economic growth and its determinants, including the debt ratio are cointegrated and have a long-run stable relationship. Results also indicate that the optimal debt ratio is 38.4 percent for debt held by the public and 48.9 percent for total debt. Thus, the current (1993) debt ratios of 50.9 percent for the debt held by the public and 68.2 percent for total debt are far greater than the desirable levels. Copyright 1995 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • David J. Smyth & Yu Hsing, 1995. "In Search Of An Optimal Debt Ratio For Economic Growth," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(4), pages 51-59, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:13:y:1995:i:4:p:51-59
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Aminu, Umaru & Ahmad Aminu, Hamidu & Salihu, Musa, 2013. "External Debt and Domestic Debt impact on the growth of the Nigerian Economy," MPRA Paper 75122, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Rother, Philipp, 2012. "The impact of high government debt on economic growth and its channels: An empirical investigation for the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1392-1405.
    3. Wu, Yanrui, 2014. "Local government debt and economic growth in China," BOFIT Discussion Papers 20/2014, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    4. Bettina Fincke & Alfred Greiner, 2016. "On the relation between public debt and economic growth: an empirical investigation," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 137-150.
    5. Yu Hsing, 2004. "Response of Venezuelan output to monetary policy, deficit spending, and currency depreciation: a VAR model," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO, December.
    6. Vis, Barbara & Woldendorp, Jaap & Keman, Hans, 2007. "Do miracles exist? Analyzing economic performance comparatively," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(5), pages 531-538, May.
    7. Ali Salman Saleh, 2006. "Long-Run Linkage Between Budget Deficit And Trade Deficit In Lebanon: Results From The Uecm And Bounds Tests," IIUM Journal of Economics and Management, IIUM Journal of Economis and Management, vol. 14(1), pages 29-48, December.
    8. Mariam Camarero & Jesús Peiró-Palomino & Cecilio Tamarit, 2017. "External imbalances and growth," Working Papers 2017/02, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    9. repec:spr:eurase:v:7:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40822-017-0066-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Petia Topalova & Dan Nyberg, 2010. "What Level of Public Debt Could India Target?," IMF Working Papers 10/7, International Monetary Fund.
    11. repec:eee:streco:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:29-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Chowdhury, Khorshed & Saleh, Ali Salman, 2007. "Testing the Keynesian Proposition of Twin Deficits in the Presence of Trade Liberalisation: Evidence from Sri Lanka after War: the case of a bridge too far?," Economics Working Papers wp07-09, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    13. Doğan, İbrahim & Bilgili, Faik, 2014. "The non-linear impact of high and growing government external debt on economic growth: A Markov Regime-switching approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 213-220.
    14. repec:pje:journl:article27winiii is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Hsing, Y., 2004. "Responses of Argentine Output to Shocks to Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy and Exchange Rates: A VAR Model," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 4(1).
    16. Naeem Akram, 2013. "Empirical examination of debt and growth nexus in South Asian countries," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 20(2), pages 29-52, December.
    17. repec:ers:journl:v:xx:y:2017:i:2a:p:607-633 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Stylianou Tasos, 2012. "Does Government Debt Promote Economic Growth? An Empirical Analysis with Structural Breaks for the Economy of China," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 15(45), pages 229-248, December.

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