The impact of high government debt on economic growth and its channels: An empirical investigation for the euro area
This paper investigates the average impact of government debt on per-capita GDP growth in twelve euro area countries over a period of about 40 years starting in 1970. It finds a non-linear impact of debt on growth with a turning point – beyond which the government debt-to-GDP ratio has a negative impact on long-term growth – at about 90–100% of GDP. Confidence intervals for the debt turning point suggest that the negative growth effect of high debt may start already from levels of around 70 to 80% of GDP. The channels through which government debt is found to have a non-linear impact on the economic growth rate are private saving, public investment and total factor productivity.
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