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

  • Gabriella Legrenzi

    ()

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

  • Costas Milas

    ()

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

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.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2012/Volume32/EB-12-V32-I3-P247.pdf
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Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 32 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 2586-2593

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00671
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  1. 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, April.
  2. 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.
  3. Michael G. Arghyrou & Kul B Luintel, 2002. "Government Solvency: Revisiting some EMU Countries," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 02-24, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 7661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. António Afonso, 2005. "Fiscal Sustainability: The Unpleasant European Case," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(1), pages 19-, March.
  6. Lin, Chien-Fu Jeff & Terasvirta, Timo, 1994. "Testing the constancy of regression parameters against continuous structural change," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 211-228, June.
  7. 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.
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