IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Fiscal Fatigue, Fiscal Space and Debt Sustainability in Advanced Economies

  • Atish R. Ghosh
  • Jun I. Kim
  • Enrique G. Mendoza
  • Jonathan D. Ostry
  • Mahvash S. Qureshi

How high can public debt rise without compromising fiscal solvency? We answer this question using a stochastic ability-to-pay model of sovereign default in which risk-neutral investors lend to a government that displays "fiscal fatigue," because its ability to increase primary balances cannot keep pace with rising debt. As a result, the government faces an endogenous debt limit beyond which debt cannot be rolled-over. Using data for 23 advanced economies over 1970-2007, we find evidence of a fiscal reaction function with these features, and use it to compute "fiscal space," defined as the difference between projected debt ratios and debt limits.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): (2013)
Issue (Month): (02)
Pages: F4-F30

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v::y:2013:i::p:f4-f30
Contact details of provider: Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AL, UK
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Schclarek, Alfredo, 2004. "Debt and Economic Growth in Developing and Industrial Countries," Working Papers 2005:34, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  2. Cristina Arellano, 2008. "Default Risk and Income Fluctuations in Emerging Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 690-712, June.
  3. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable Debt, Interest Rates and the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 10731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier J., 1984. "Current and anticipated deficits, interest rates and economic activity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 7-27, June.
  5. Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan D. Ostry, 2007. "International Evidence on Fiscal Solvency: Is Fiscal Policy "Responsible"?," NBER Working Papers 12947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," NBER Working Papers 15639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
  9. Bohn, Henning, 2007. "Are stationarity and cointegration restrictions really necessary for the intertemporal budget constraint?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1837-1847, October.
  10. Jonathan Eaton & Raquel Fernandez, 1995. "Sovereign Debt," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 59, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  11. Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
  13. Jonathan David Ostry & Abdul Abiad, 2005. "Primary Surpluses and sustainable Debt Levels in Emerging Market Countries," IMF Policy Discussion Papers 05/6, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Rzonca, Andrzej & Cizkowicz, Piotr, 2005. "Non-Keynesian effects of fiscal contraction in new member states," Working Paper Series 0519, European Central Bank.
  15. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  16. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v::y:2013:i::p:f4-f30. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.