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Long-Run Debt Sustainability and Threshold Adjustments: Non-Linear Empirical Evidence from the GIIPS

Author

Listed:
  • Gabriella Legrenzi

    () (Keele University, CESifo, Rimini Centre for Economic Research)

  • Costas Milas

    () (Liverpool University, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, eranistis.gr)

Abstract

We assess the sustainability of the public finances of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain (GIIPS), allowing for possible non-linearities in the form of threshold behaviour of the fiscal authorities. We provide some evidence of fiscal sustainability when debt gets “too high” relative to a threshold which is not necessarily fixed but varies with the level of debt relative to its recent history and/or the occurrence of a financial crisis. However, the Greek and Italian debt-to-GDP threshold levels (over which adjustment takes place) exceed 87% and rise further in periods of financial crises. This arguably adds to international investors' concerns, and as a result, raises the yields demanded for holding Greek and Italian debt. As debt is rolled over at high interest rates, fiscal prospects worsen making default more likely and adding to contagion effects from one Eurozone country to another.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriella Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2012. "Long-Run Debt Sustainability and Threshold Adjustments: Non-Linear Empirical Evidence from the GIIPS," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2586-2593.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00671
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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2012/Volume32/EB-12-V32-I3-P247.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 1065-1188, November.
    3. Arghyrou, Michael G. & Luintel, Kul B., 2007. "Government solvency: Revisiting some EMU countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 387-410, June.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
    5. Alfred Greiner & Uwe Köller & Willi Semmler, 2007. "Debt sustainability in the European Monetary Union: Theory and empirical evidence for selected countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 194-218, April.
    6. Georgios Chortareas & George Kapetanios & Merih Uctum, 2008. "Nonlinear Alternatives to Unit Root Tests and Public Finances Sustainability: Some Evidence from Latin American and Caribbean Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(5), pages 645-663, October.
    7. António Afonso, 2005. "Fiscal Sustainability: The Unpleasant European Case," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(1), pages 1-19, March.
    8. Gabriella Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2012. "Nonlinearities And The Sustainability Of The Government'S Intertemporal Budget Constraint," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(4), pages 988-999, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Piergallini, Alessandro & Postigliola, Michele, 2013. "Non-linear budgetary policies: Evidence from 150 years of Italian public finance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 495-498.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    debt sustainability; financial crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

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