IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/reveco/v51y2017icp470-486.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Heterogeneity in the debt-growth nexus: Evidence from EMU countries

Author

Listed:
  • Gómez-Puig, Marta
  • Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to examine whether the threshold beyond which a public debt change may have a detrimental effect on economic growth changes across euro area countries during the 1961–2015 period. In contrast with previous studies, we do not use panel estimation techniques, but implement a time-series analysis for each country based on the growth literature. The results suggest that in all the countries but Belgium a debt increase begins to have detrimental effects on growth well before the SGP debt ceiling (a debt ratio of around 40% and 50% in central and peripheral countries, respectively) is reached. So, although austerity policies should be applied in EMU countries – since according to our results debt reduction barely exerts any significant beneficial impact on EMU countries' growth – they should be accompanied by structural reforms that can increase their potential GDP. Moreover, as our results suggest that the harmful impact of a debt change on growth does not occur beyond the same threshold and with the same intensity in all EMU countries, a focus on average ratios and impacts may be unsuitable for defining policies. Specifically, our findings suggest that the pace of fiscal adjustment should be lower in Greece and Spain than in the other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:470-486
    DOI: 10.1016/j.iref.2017.07.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1059056017302472
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary S. Becker, 2007. "Health as human capital: synthesis and extensions -super-1," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 379-410, July.
    2. Dotsey, Michael & Sarte, Pierre Daniel, 2000. "Inflation uncertainty and growth in a cash-in-advance economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 631-655, June.
    3. Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Gregory Mankiw, N., 1999. "Government debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1615-1669 Elsevier.
    4. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    5. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2015. "The Next Generation of the Penn World Table," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3150-3182, October.
    6. Caner, Mehmet & Hansen, Bruce E., 2004. "Instrumental Variable Estimation Of A Threshold Model," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(05), pages 813-843, October.
    7. Andrea Pescatori & Damiano Sandri & John Simon, 2014. "Debt and Growth; Is There a Magic Threshold?," IMF Working Papers 14/34, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Ricardo Reis, 2015. "Looking for a Success in the Euro Crisis Adjustment Programs: The Case of Portugal," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(2 (Fall)), pages 433-458.
    9. 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.
    10. Atish R. Ghosh & Jun I. Kim & Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan D. Ostry & Mahvash S. Qureshi, 2013. "Fiscal Fatigue, Fiscal Space and Debt Sustainability in Advanced Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 4-30, February.
    11. Jacquemin, Alexis & Sapir, Andre, 1996. "Is European Hard Core Credible? A Statistical Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 105-117.
    12. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Ardagna, Silvia, 2010. "Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending," Scholarly Articles 22801844, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    13. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    14. De Gregorio, Jose, 1993. "Inflation, taxation, and long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 271-298, June.
    15. Eberhardt, Markus & Presbitero, Andrea F., 2015. "Public debt and growth: Heterogeneity and non-linearity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 45-58.
    16. Fatás, Antonio & Summers, Lawrence H., 2018. "The permanent effects of fiscal consolidations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 238-250.
    17. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1991. "Fiscal deficits, public debt, and government solvency: Evidence from OECD countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 354-380, December.
    18. Stephen Cecchetti & Madhusudan Mohanty & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2011. "The real effects of debt," BIS Working Papers 352, Bank for International Settlements.
    19. Òscar Jordà & Alan M. Taylor, 2016. "The Time for Austerity: Estimating the Average Treatment Effect of Fiscal Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(590), pages 219-255, February.
    20. 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.
    21. Anderson, Derek & Hunt, Benjamin & Snudden, Stephen, 2014. "Fiscal consolidation in the euro area: How much pain can structural reforms ease?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 785-799.
    22. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
    23. Jaejoon Woo & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2015. "Public Debt and Growth," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(328), pages 705-739, October.
    24. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    25. Baum, Anja & Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Rother, Philipp, 2013. "Debt and growth: New evidence for the euro area," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 809-821.
    26. Faust, Jon & Whiteman, Charles H., 1997. "General-to-specific procedures for fitting a data-admissible, theory-inspired, congruent, parsimonious, encompassing, weakly-exogenous, identified, structural model to the DGP: A translation and criti," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 121-161, December.
    27. Francisco Ledesma-Rodriguez & Manuel Navarro-Ibanez & Jorge Perez-Rodriguez & Simon Sosvilla-Rivero, 2005. "Assessing the credibility of a target zone: evidence from the EMS," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(19), pages 2265-2287.
    28. Nikolaos Antonakakis, 2014. "Sovereign Debt and Economic Growth Revisited: The Role of (Non-)Sustainable Debt Thresholds," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp187, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    29. Fischer, Stanley, 1993. "The role of macroeconomic factors in growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
    30. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    31. Marta Gómez-Puig & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero, 2015. "On the bi-directional causal relationship between public debt and economic growth in EMU countries," Working Papers 15-06, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.
    32. Edwards, Sebastian, 1998. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 383-398, March.
    33. Dreger, Christian & Reimers, Hans-Eggert, 2013. "Does euro area membership affect the relation between GDP growth and public debt?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 481-486.
    34. Phillips, P C B, 1988. "Reflections on Econometric Methodology," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 64(187), pages 344-359, December.
    35. Perron, Pierre & Rodriguez, Gabriel, 2003. "GLS detrending, efficient unit root tests and structural change," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 1-27, July.
    36. Cinzia Alcidi & Ansgar Belke & Alessandro Giovannini & Daniel Gros, 2016. "Macroeconomic adjustment programmes in the euro area: an overall assessment," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 345-358, July.
    37. Andrea F Presbitero, 2012. "Total Public Debt and Growth in Developing Countries," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 24(4), pages 606-626, September.
    38. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    39. Ugo Panizza & Andrea F. Presbitero, 2013. "Public Debt and Economic Growth in Advanced Economies: A Survey," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(II), pages 175-204, June.
    40. Simón Sosvilla-Rivero & Amalia Morales-Zumaquero, 2012. "Volatility in EMU sovereign bond yields: permanent and transitory components," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(17), pages 1453-1464, September.
    41. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Chinn, Menzie D, 1997. "Further Investigation of the Uncertain Unit Root in GNP," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(1), pages 68-73, January.
    42. Miguel-Angel Martín & Agustín Herranz, 2004. "Human capital and economic growth in Spanish regions," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 10(4), pages 257-264, November.
    43. Friedman, Milton, 1977. "Nobel Lecture: Inflation and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 451-472, June.
    44. Catherine Pattillo & Hélène Poirson & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2011. "External Debt and Growth," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(3).
    45. Polito, Vito & Wickens, Michael, 2014. "How the Euro Crisis Evolved and how to Avoid Another: EMU, Fiscal Policy and Credit Ratings," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 364-374.
    46. Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1997. "Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.
    47. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    48. Cochrane, John H., 2011. "Understanding policy in the great recession: Some unpleasant fiscal arithmetic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 2-30, January.
    49. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    50. Seghezza, Elena & Baldwin, Richard E., 2008. "Testing for Trade-Induced Investment-Led Growth," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 61(2-3), pages 507-537.
    51. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Sunil Mohanty & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2011. "Achieving growth amid fiscal imbalances: the real effects of debt," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 145-196.
    52. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna, 2010. "Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24, pages 35-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    53. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2009. "Life Expectancy and Human Capital Investments: Evidence from Maternal Mortality Declines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 349-397.
    54. 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.
    55. Asimakopoulos, Stylianos & Karavias, Yiannis, 2016. "The impact of government size on economic growth: A threshold analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 65-68.
    56. Carlo Cottarelli & Laura Jaramillo, 2013. "Walking Hand in Hand: Fiscal Policy and Growth in Advanced Economies," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 4(2).
    57. Bettina Bökemeier & Christiane Clemens, 2016. "Does it Pay to Fulfill the Maastricht Convergence Criteria? - Reflections on the Public Debt and Growth Nexus for Selected European Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 6161, CESifo Group Munich.
    58. Coen Teulings, 2016. "Editor's Choice Are Bubbles Bad? Is a Higher Debt Target for the Eurozone Desirable?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 62(2), pages 197-209.
    59. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 2012. "Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(1 (Spring), pages 233-297.
    60. Cristina Checherita-Westphal & Andrew Hughes Hallett & Philipp Rother, 2014. "Fiscal sustainability using growth-maximizing debt targets," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(6), pages 638-647, February.
    61. Lof, Matthijs & Malinen, Tuomas, 2014. "Does sovereign debt weaken economic growth? A panel VAR analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 403-407.
    62. Daniel Leigh & Andrea Pescatori & Jaime Guajardo, 2011. "Expansionary Austerity New International Evidence," IMF Working Papers 11/158, International Monetary Fund.
    63. Simone Salotti & Carmine Trecroci, 2016. "The Impact of Government Debt, Expenditure and Taxes on Aggregate Investment and Productivity Growth," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(330), pages 356-384, April.
    64. Reis, Ricardo, 2015. "Looking for a success: the euro crisis adjustment programs," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65868, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    65. Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1998. "Inflation crises and long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-26, February.
    66. Alesina, Alberto F & Barbiero, Omar & Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco & Paradisi, Matteo, 2015. "Austerity in 2009-2013," CEPR Discussion Papers 10347, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    67. David Rosnick & Mark Weisbrot, 2015. "Has Austerity Worked in Spain?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2015-27, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    68. Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Rother, Philipp, 2012. "The impact of high government debt on economic growth and its channels: An empirical investigation for the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1392-1405.
    69. Teles, Vladimir K. & Cesar Mussolini, Caio, 2014. "Public debt and the limits of fiscal policy to increase economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 1-15.
    70. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    71. repec:kap:iaecre:v:10:y:2004:i:4:p:257-264 is not listed on IDEAS
    72. Aizenman, Joshua & Kletzer, Kenneth, 2007. "Economic Growth with Constraints on Tax Revenues and Public Debt: Implications for Fiscal Policy and Cross-Country Differences," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9421k9hq, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    73. Hendry, David F., 1995. "Dynamic Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283164.
    74. Robert J. Barro, 2003. "Determinants of Economic Growth in a Panel of Countries," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 4(2), pages 231-274, November.
    75. Dreger, Christian & Reimers, Hans-Eggert, 2016. "Does public investment stimulate private investment? Evidence for the euro area," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 154-158.
    76. Polito, Vito & Wickens, Mike, 2012. "A model-based indicator of the fiscal stance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 526-551.
    77. Ashoka Mody, 2013. "Sovereign debt and its restructuring framework in the eurozone," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 715-744, WINTER.
    78. Ashoka Mody, 2013. "Sovereign debt and its restructuring framework in the euro area," Working Papers 788, Bruegel.
    79. Radelet Steven & Sachs Jeffrey & Lee Jong-Wha, 2001. "The Determinants and Prospects of Economic Growth in Asia," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 1-29.
    80. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 2012. "Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(1 (Spring), pages 233-297.
    81. Coen N. Teulings, 2016. "Are Bubbles Bad? Is a higher debt target for the Euro-zone desirable?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1643, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    82. Ioannou, Demosthenes & Stracca, Livio, 2014. "Have the euro area and EU governance worked? Just the facts," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 1-17.
    83. Gómez-Puig, Marta & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 2015. "The causal relationship between debt and growth in EMU countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 974-989.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public debt; Economic growth; Heterogeneity; Multiple structural breaks; Euro area; Peripheral EMU countries; Central EMU countries;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:reveco:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:470-486. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620165 .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.