IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Public debt, current account, and economic growth in Germany: Evidence from a nonlinear ARDL model


  • Zestos, George
  • Jiang, Yixiao
  • Hamed, Alex
  • Raymond, Samuel


This paper investigated the public debt-growth nexus in Germany using a Nonlinear Autoregressive Distributed Lag (NARDL) model. We first review a history of the public debt problem in Germany from colonial times to the present. Since Germany had trading relationship with the rest of the world, the impact of such a relationship on economic growth is examined by including the current account (CA) as another explanatory variable in addition to public debt. We find that public debt and CA both have asymmetric impacts on the economic growth of Germany. Specifically, an increase in the level of public debt reduces economic growth while a decrease in public debt has no impact. In contrast, an increase in CA raises GDP by more than the increase in public debt-to-GDP ratio reduces GDP growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Zestos, George & Jiang, Yixiao & Hamed, Alex & Raymond, Samuel, 2023. "Public debt, current account, and economic growth in Germany: Evidence from a nonlinear ARDL model," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 28(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joecas:v:28:y:2023:i:c:s1703494923000476
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeca.2023.e00335

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. R. Santos Alimi, 2014. "ARDL Bounds Testing Approach to Cointegration: A Re-Examination of Augmented Fisher Hypothesis in an Open Economy," Asian Journal of Economic Modelling, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 2(2), pages 103-114.
    2. Werner Heun, 2014. "Balanced Budget Requirements and Debt Brakes Feasibility and Enforcement," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 15(1), pages 100-115, February.
    3. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001. "LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
    4. Alexander Chudik & Kamiar Mohaddes & M. Hashem Pesaran & Mehdi Raissi, 2017. "Is There a Debt-Threshold Effect on Output Growth?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(1), pages 135-150, March.
    5. De Grauwe, Paul & Ji, Yuemei, 2013. "Self-fulfilling crises in the Eurozone: An empirical test," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 15-36.
    6. Mitze, Timo & Matz, Florian, 2015. "Public debt and growth in German federal states: What can Europe learn?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 208-228.
    7. DeJong, David N. & Nankervis, John C. & Savin, N. E. & Whiteman, Charles H., 1992. "The power problems of unit root test in time series with autoregressive errors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 323-343.
    8. Zestos, George K. & Jiang, Yixiao & Painter, Clifton, 2021. "Determinants of German and Japanese Exports: A Comparative Study," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 36(3), pages 339-371.
    9. K. Zestos, George & K. Taylor, Travis & D. Patnode, Ryan, 2016. "Causality within the Euro Area? : Trade Surplus in the North versus Public Debt in the South," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 31(4), pages 898-931.
    10. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
    11. Elliott, Graham & Rothenberg, Thomas J & Stock, James H, 1996. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 813-836, July.
    12. Toda, Hiro Y. & Yamamoto, Taku, 1995. "Statistical inference in vector autoregressions with possibly integrated processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1-2), pages 225-250.
    13. R. Santos Alimi, 2014. "ARDL Bounds Testing Approach to Cointegration: A Re-Examination of Augmented Fisher Hypothesis in an Open Economy," Asian Journal of Economic Modelling, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 2(2), pages 103-114, June.
    14. Houthakker, Hendrik S & Magee, Stephen P, 1969. "Income and Price Elasticities in World Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(2), pages 111-125, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. George K. Zestos & Wei Guo & Ryan Patnode, 2018. "Determinants of Real Chinese GDP 1978–2014," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 46(2), pages 161-177, June.
    2. Yixiao Jiang & George K. Zestos & Zachary Timmerman, 2020. "A Vector Error Correction Model for Japanese Real Exports," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 48(3), pages 297-311, September.
    3. Mariana Hatmanu & Cristina Cautisanu & Mihaela Ifrim, 2020. "The Impact of Interest Rate, Exchange Rate and European Business Climate on Economic Growth in Romania: An ARDL Approach with Structural Breaks," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(7), pages 1-23, April.
    4. Perles-Ribes, José Francisco & Ramón-Rodríguez, Ana Belén & Rubia, Antonio & Moreno-Izquierdo, Luis, 2017. "Is the tourism-led growth hypothesis valid after the global economic and financial crisis? The case of Spain 1957–2014," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 96-109.
    5. David Greasley & Les Oxley, 2010. "Cliometrics And Time Series Econometrics: Some Theory And Applications," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 970-1042, December.
    6. Md. Qamruzzaman & Rajnish Kler, 2023. "Do Clean Energy and Financial Innovation Induce SME Performance? Clarifying the Nexus between Financial Innovation, Technological Innovation, Clean Energy, Environmental Degradation, and SMEs Performa," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 13(3), pages 313-324, May.
    7. Shahbaz, Muhammad & Loganathan, Nanthakumar & Sbia, Rashid & Afza, Talat, 2015. "The effect of urbanization, affluence and trade openness on energy consumption: A time series analysis in Malaysia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 683-693.
    8. Zaman, Shah & Zaman, Qamar uz & Zhang, Leilei & Wang, Zilong & Jehan, Noor, 2022. "Interaction between agricultural production, female employment, renewable energy, and environmental quality: Policy directions in context of developing economies," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 186(C), pages 288-298.
    9. Shahbaz, Muhammad, 2017. "Current Issues in Time-Series Analysis for the Energy-Growth Nexus; Asymmetries and Nonlinearities Case Study: Pakistan," MPRA Paper 82221, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Oct 2017.
    10. Gómez-Puig, Marta & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 2017. "Heterogeneity in the debt-growth nexus: Evidence from EMU countries," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 470-486.
    11. Clayton Webb & Suzanna Linn & Matthew J. Lebo, 2020. "Beyond the Unit Root Question: Uncertainty and Inference," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 64(2), pages 275-292, April.
    12. Yongliang Zhang & Md. Qamruzzaman & Salma Karim & Ishrat Jahan, 2021. "Nexus between Economic Policy Uncertainty and Renewable Energy Consumption in BRIC Nations: The Mediating Role of Foreign Direct Investment and Financial Development," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(15), pages 1-29, August.
    13. Kyriakos Emmanouilidis & Christos Karpetis, 2020. "The Defense–Growth Nexus: A Review of Time Series Methods and Empirical Results," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 86-104, January.
    14. Dogan, Eyup & Seker, Fahri, 2016. "Determinants of CO2 emissions in the European Union: The role of renewable and non-renewable energy," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 429-439.
    15. Muhammad, Shahbaz, 2012. "Multivariate granger causality between CO2 Emissions, energy intensity, financial development and economic growth: evidence from Portugal," MPRA Paper 37774, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 31 Mar 2012.
    16. Eléazar Zerbo, 2017. "Energy consumption and economic growth in Sub-Saharan African countries: Further evidence," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(3), pages 1720-1744.
    17. Sari, Ramazan & Soytas, Ugur, 2009. "Are global warming and economic growth compatible? Evidence from five OPEC countries?," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(10), pages 1887-1893, October.
    18. Karuna Bohini & C. Hussain Yaganti & Mini P. Thomas, 2022. "India’s Demographic Dividend: The Millennials’ Savings Conundrum," Millennial Asia, , vol. 13(1), pages 108-141, April.
    19. Roy, Rudra Prosad & Sinha Roy, Saikat, 2022. "Commodity futures prices pass-through and monetary policy in India: Does asymmetry matter?," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 25(C).
    20. Lei Pan & Svetlana Maslyuk-Escobedo & Vinod Mishra, 2019. "Carry Trade Returns and Commodity Prices under Capital and Interest Rate Controls: Empirical Evidence from China," Monash Economics Working Papers 16-18, Monash University, Department of Economics.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joecas:v:28:y:2023:i:c:s1703494923000476. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.