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Unpleasant debt dynamics: Can fiscal consolidations raise debt ratios?

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  • Castro, Gabriela
  • Félix, Ricardo M.
  • Júlio, Paulo
  • Maria, José R.

Abstract

Using PESSOA, a medium-scale DSGE model for a small euro-area economy, we evaluate how fiscal adjustments impact short- and medium-term debt dynamics and output for alternative policy options, and budgetary and economic conditions. Fiscal adjustments may increase the public debt-to-GDP ratio in the short run, even for consolidations carried out in normal times in economies characterized by moderate indebtedness levels. Financial turmoils and hikes in the nationwide risk premia, coupled with high indebtedness levels and stiff fiscal measures, boost the output costs of fiscal consolidations and severely affect their effectiveness in bringing the public debt-to-GDP ratio down in the short term. In the medium run credible fiscal adjustments entail a decline in the public debt ratio, though at potentially very large output losses when carried out under unfavorable budgetary and economic conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Castro, Gabriela & Félix, Ricardo M. & Júlio, Paulo & Maria, José R., 2015. "Unpleasant debt dynamics: Can fiscal consolidations raise debt ratios?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 276-294.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:44:y:2015:i:c:p:276-294
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2015.02.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Cassola, Nuno & Jorge, José, 2016. "The ECB's OMTs: A tale of governments, investors, and the central bank," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 94-116.
    2. Paulo Júlio & Ricardo Mourinho Félix & Gabriela Lopes de Castro & José R. Maria, 2015. "Financial Fragmentation Shocks," Working Papers w201508, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    3. Imre Ersoy & Talha Yanmaz, 2016. "The Impact of Austerity Measures on Government Borrowing in GIIPS," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 8(12), pages 106-112, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal policy; Fiscal consolidation; Debt ratio; Crisis; DSGE model; Euro area;

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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