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Public debt dynamics: the effects of austerity, inflation, and growth shocks

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  • Reda Cherif

    () (International Monetary Fund)

  • Fuad Hasanov

    () (International Monetary Fund
    Georgetown University)

Abstract

We study the impact of macroeconomic shocks on US public debt dynamics using a VAR with debt feedback. Following a primary balance, or austerity, shock, the debt ratio initially declines but at a cost of lower growth. The debt ratio then rises to its pre-shock path, suggesting the austerity shock could be self-defeating. An inflation shock reduces the debt ratio initially, while a positive growth shock unambiguously lowers debt. Our specification, properly incorporating the debt equation, produces different debt impulse responses and forecasts from VAR models either excluding debt or including debt linearly.

Suggested Citation

  • Reda Cherif & Fuad Hasanov, 2018. "Public debt dynamics: the effects of austerity, inflation, and growth shocks," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 1087-1105, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:54:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-017-1260-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s00181-017-1260-3
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    Cited by:

    1. Gustav A. Horn & Fabian Lindner & Silke Tober & Andrew Watt, 2012. "Where now for the euro area crisis? Interim assessment and a model for a stable euro area," IMK Report 75e-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    2. Ichiro Fukunaga & Takuji Komatsuzaki & Hideaki Matsuoka, 2019. "Inflation and Public Debt Reversals in Advanced Economies," IMF Working Papers 2019/297, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Attinasi, Maria Grazia & Metelli, Luca, 2017. "Is fiscal consolidation self-defeating? A panel-VAR analysis for the Euro area countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 147-164.
    4. Gnegne, Yacouba & Jawadi, Fredj, 2013. "Boundedness and nonlinearities in public debt dynamics: A TAR assessment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 154-160.
    5. ADAM, Alexandra, 2015. "Approaches Of Public Finance Sustainability Taking Into Account The Current Economic Context," Studii Financiare (Financial Studies), Centre of Financial and Monetary Research "Victor Slavescu", vol. 19(1), pages 93-101.
    6. Gustav A. Horn & Fabian Lindner & Silke Tober & Andrew Watt, 2012. "Quo vadis Krise? Zwischenbilanz und Konzept für einen stabilen Euroraum," IMK Report 75-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    7. Klaus Gründler & Niklas Potrafke, 2019. "Ideologically-charged terminology: austerity, fiscal consolidation, and sustainable governance," CESifo Working Paper Series 7613, CESifo.
    8. Tielens, J. & van Aarle, B. & Van Hove, J., 2014. "Effects of Eurobonds: A stochastic sovereign debt sustainability analysis for Portugal, Ireland and Greece," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 156-173.
    9. Piero Ferri & Fabio Tramontana, 2018. "Debt Persistence in a Deflationary Environment: A Regime-Switching Model," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 52(2), pages 421-442, August.
    10. 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.
    11. Stanova, Nadja, 2015. "Effects of fiscal shocks in new EU members estimated from a SVARX model with debt feedback," MPRA Paper 63148, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Gustavo Adler & Sebastian Sosa, 2016. "External Factors in Debt Sustainability Analysis: An Application to Latin America?," Journal of Banking and Financial Economics, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 1(5), pages 81-120, June.
    13. Argentino Pessoa, 2013. "Regional integration and the euro crisis: problems and solutions," ERSA conference papers ersa13p1153, European Regional Science Association.
    14. Georgios Magkonis & Anastasia Theofilakou, 2019. "Transmission of sectoral debt shocks in OECD countries: Evidence from the income channel," Working Papers in Economics & Finance 2019-02, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth Business School, Economics and Finance Subject Group.
    15. António Afonso & Sérgio Gadelha & Agatha Silva, 2020. "Public Debt And Economic Growth In Brazil," Working Papers REM 2020/0148, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
    16. Gustavo Adler & Sebastian Sosa, 2013. "External Conditions and Debt Sustainability in Latin America," IMF Working Papers 2013/027, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Rossen Rozenov, 2016. "Optimal Fiscal Adjustment under Uncertainty," IMF Working Papers 2016/069, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Benjamin Egron, 2018. "Réduction du ratio de dette publique : quels instruments pour quels effets ?," EconomiX Working Papers 2018-1, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public debt; Fiscal policy; VAR; Impulse responses;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models

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