IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Fiscal adjustment and the costs of public debt service: evidence from OECD countries

  • Christoph A. Schaltegger
  • Martin Weder

We use a panel of 21 OECD countries from 1970 to 2009 to investigate the effects of different fiscal adjustment strategies on long-term interest rates - a key fiscal indicator reflecting the costs of government debt service. As Europe's sovereign debt crisis has shown, governments confronted with high deficits and rising debt may be forced to enact fiscal adjustments in order to avoid increasing market pressure and solvency problems. Over the last four decades, such measures taken by governments in OECD countries have varied in duration, size, composition and in their success to re-establish fiscal sustainability. We find that large and expenditure-based adjustments lead to substantially lower long-term interest rates. Small and revenue-based measures do not have an effect on interest rates. Financial markets thus only seem to value strict and decisive measures - a clear sign that the government's pledge to cut the deficit is credible.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

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

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 46 (2014)
Issue (Month): 22 (August)
Pages: 2593-2610

in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:46:y:2014:i:22:p:2593-2610
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Thomas Laubach, 2003. "New evidence on the interest rate effects of budget deficits and debt," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  3. Jose Tavares, 2000. "Does Right or Left Matter? Cabinets, Credibility and Fiscal Adjustments," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1548, Econometric Society.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
  5. Giuseppe Bertola & Allan Drazen, 1991. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," NBER Working Papers 3844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stéphanie Guichard & Mike Kennedy & Eckhard Wurzel & Christophe André, 2007. "What Promotes Fiscal Consolidation: OECD Country Experiences," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 553, OECD Publishing.
  7. Sutherland, Alan, 1997. "Fiscal crises and aggregate demand: can high public debt reverse the effects of fiscal policy?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 147-162, August.
  8. Ardagna, Silvia, 2009. "Financial markets' behavior around episodes of large changes in the fiscal stance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 37-55, January.
  9. Jürgen von Hagen & Andrew Hughes Hallett & Rolf Strauch, 2001. "Budgetary Consolidation in EMU," European Economy - Economic Papers 148, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  10. Kiichi Tokuoka, 2010. "The Outlook for Financing Japan's Public Debt," IMF Working Papers 10/19, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Andrea Zaghini, 2001. "Fiscal adjustments and economic performing: a comparative study," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(5), pages 613-624.
  12. von Hagen, Jurgen & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Strauch, Rolf, 2002. "Budgetary Consolidation in Europe: Quality, Economic Conditions, and Persistence," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 512-535, December.
  13. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Williams, Geoffrey, 2002. "Long-term nominal interest rates and domestic fundamentals," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 119-130.
  14. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
  15. Vincent Koen & Paul van den Noord, 2005. "Fiscal Gimmickry in Europe: One-Off Measures and Creative Accounting," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 417, OECD Publishing.
  16. Jochen Mierau & Richard Jong-A-Pin & Jakob de Haan, 2007. "Do political variables affect fiscal policy adjustment decisions? New empirical evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 297-319, December.
  17. Lloyd Thomas & Danhua Wu, 2009. "Long-term interest rates and expected future budget deficits: evidence from the term structure," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 365-368.
  18. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
  19. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
  20. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy In Good Times And Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436, November.
  21. Ardagna, Silvia, 2009. "Financial Markets’ Behavior Around Episodes of Large Changes in the Fiscal Stance," Scholarly Articles 2579824, Harvard University Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:46:y:2014:i:22:p:2593-2610. 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: (Michael McNulty)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.