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Debt Overhang in the Eurozone: A Spatial Panel Analysis


  • Romero, Alfredo A.

    (North Carolina A&T State University)

  • Burkey, Mark L.

    (North Carolina A&T State University)


The debt overhang hypothesis suggests that high debt levels retard prospects for GDP growth. We investigate the impact that debt overhang has had on recent GDP growth in the Eurozone, paying particular attention to the spillover effects that debt has on neighboring countries. We argue that in the Eurozone spatial effects are of crucial importance in modeling regional GDP growth, and find that a Spatial Durbin model is appropriate. We find strong evidence for the debt overhang hypothesis, confirming a concave relationship that has been found in other studies where low levels of debt can have a positive impact on GDP, but at some level a “turning point” occurs. The present study finds that this turning point occurs at a lower Debt/GDP ratio than prior studies, and separates out the direct and indirect (spillover) effects on neighboring countries’ GDPs.

Suggested Citation

  • Romero, Alfredo A. & Burkey, Mark L., 2011. "Debt Overhang in the Eurozone: A Spatial Panel Analysis," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 41(1), pages 49-63, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:rre:publsh:v:41:y:2011:i:1:p:49-63

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Enrique López-Bazo & Esther Vayá & Manuel Artís, 2004. "Regional Externalities And Growth: Evidence From European Regions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 43-73.
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    5. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1991. "Sovereign Debt Repurchases: No Cure for Overhang," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1219-1235.
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    13. Cristina Checherita-Westphal & Philipp Rother, 2011. "The Impact of Government Debt on Growth. An Empirical Investigation for the Euro Area," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 62(6), pages 1015-1029.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emil Georgiev & Emil Mihaylov, 2015. "Economic growth and the environment: reassessing the environmental Kuznets Curve for air pollution emissions in OECD countries," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 29-47, March.
    2. repec:ers:journl:v:xx:y:2017:i:2a:p:607-633 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    spatial panel data; debt overhang;

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)


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