IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Government Debt and Excess Sensitivity of Private Consumption: Estimates from OECD Countries


  • Lorenzo Pozzi
  • Freddy Heylen
  • Maarten Dossche


This article investigates the role of government debt in the degree of excess sensitivity of private consumption to current disposable income. Because this type of excess sensitivity is generally attributed to liquidity constraints, this amounts to a test of the impact of government debt on the amount of credit extended to individuals. Controlling for financial liberalization we find that, for a panel of OECD countries in the 1990s, a high government debt leads to more excess sensitivity. This result supports the idea that a high government debt induces lenders to tighten credit conditions. Our findings survive several robustness checks. (JEL E21, E62, C33) Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenzo Pozzi & Freddy Heylen & Maarten Dossche, 2004. "Government Debt and Excess Sensitivity of Private Consumption: Estimates from OECD Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 618-633, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:42:y:2004:i:4:p:618-633

    Download full text from publisher

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

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Casey B Mulligan, 2000. "Can Monopoly Unionism Explain Publically Induced Retirement?," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 157, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. G. Peersman & L. Pozzi, 2004. "Determinants of consumption smoothing," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/231, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. F. Heylen & A. Hoebeeck & T. Buyse, 2011. "Fiscal consolidation, institutions and institutional reform: a multivariate analysis of public debt dynamics," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/763, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    3. Berben, Robert-Paul & Brosens, Teunis, 2007. "The impact of government debt on private consumption in OECD countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 220-225, February.
    4. Heylen, Freddy & Hoebeeck, Annelies & Buyse, Tim, 2013. "Government efficiency, institutions, and the effects of fiscal consolidation on public debt," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 40-59.
    5. Tomas Havranek & Anna Sokolova, 2016. "Do Consumers Really Follow a Rule of Thumb? Three Thousand Estimates from 130 Studies Say “Probably Not”," Working Papers IES 2016/15, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jul 2016.
    6. Gert Peersman & Lorenzo Pozzi, 2008. "Business Cycle Fluctuations and Excess Sensitivity of Private Consumption," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(299), pages 514-523, August.
    7. Yoichi Matsubayashi & Takao Fujii, 2012. "Substitutability of Savings by Sectors: OECD Experiences," Discussion Papers 1215, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models


    Access and download statistics


    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:oup:ecinqu:v:42:y:2004:i:4:p:618-633. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.