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Inflation Implications of Rising Government Debt

In: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006

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  • Chryssi Giannitsarou
  • Andrew Scott

Abstract

The intertemporal budget constraint of the government implies a relationship between a ratio of current liabilities to the primary deficit with future values of inflation, interest rates, GDP and narrow money growth and changes in the primary deficit. This relationship defines a natural measure of fiscal balance and can be used as an accounting identity to examine the channels through which governments achieve fiscal sustainability. We evaluate the ability of this framework to account for the fiscal behaviour of six industrialised nations since 1960. We show how fiscal imbalances are mainly removed through adjustments in the primary deficit (80-100%), with less substantial roles being played by inflation (0-10%) and GDP growth (0-20%). Focusing on the relation between fiscal imbalances and inflation suggests extremely modest interactions. This post WWII evidence suggests that the widely anticipated future increases in fiscal deficits, need not necessarily have a substantial impact on inflation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Chryssi Giannitsarou & Andrew Scott, 2008. "Inflation Implications of Rising Government Debt," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006, pages 393-442 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:7040
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. de Groot, Oliver & Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & Leiner-Killinger, Nadine, 2015. "Cost of borrowing shocks and fiscal adjustment," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 23-48.
    2. Hess Chung & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "What Has Financed Government Debt?," NBER Working Papers 13425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Michael U. Krause & Stéphane Moyen, 2016. "Public Debt and Changing Inflation Targets," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 142-176, October.
    4. Polito, Vito & Wickens, Mike, 2012. "A model-based indicator of the fiscal stance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 526-551.
    5. Sergey Pekarski, 2017. "Tight Money and the Sustainability of Public Debt," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 13(1), pages 191-223, February.
    6. Sinha, Arunima, 2015. "Government debt, learning and the term structure," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 268-289.
    7. Equiza-Goñi, Juan, 2016. "Government debt maturity and debt dynamics in euro area countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 292-311.
    8. Hasko, Harri, 2007. "Some unpleasant fiscal arithmetic : the role of monetary and fiscal policy in public debt dynamics since the 1970s," Research Discussion Papers 28/2007, Bank of Finland.
    9. Martin Kliem & Alexander Kriwoluzky & Samad Sarferaz, 2016. "On the Low‐Frequency Relationship Between Public Deficits and Inflation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(3), pages 566-583, April.
    10. Joshua Mason and Arjun Jayadev, "undated". "Fisher Dynamics in Household Debt: The Case of the U.S. 1929-2011," Working Papers 13, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.
    11. Henning Bohn, 2011. "The Economic Consequences of Rising U.S. Government Debt: Privileges at Risk," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 67(3), pages 282-302, September.
    12. Ananda Jayawickrama & Tilak Abeysinghe, 2006. "Sustainability Of Fiscal Deficits: The U.S. Experience 1929-2004," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 05xx, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
    13. Nicholas Apergis & Arusha Cooray, 2013. "Forecasting fiscal variables: Only a strong growth plan can sustain the Greek austerity programs - Evidence from simultaneous and structural models," CAMA Working Papers 2013-25, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    14. Jose PINEDA & Rodolfo MÉNDEZ, "undated". "Fiscal Sustainability and Economic Growth in Bolivia," EcoMod2009 21500075, EcoMod.
    15. S. Adnan & H.A.S. BUKHARI & Safdar Ullah KHAN, 2008. "Does Volatility In Government Borrowing Leads To Higher Inflation? Evidence From Pakistan," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 3(3(5)_Fall), pages 187-202.
    16. Andreas Nastansky & Alexander Mehnert & Hans Gerhard Strohe, 2014. "A Vector Error Correction Model for the Relationship between Public Debt and Inflation in Germany," Statistische Diskussionsbeiträge 51, Universität Potsdam, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    17. Bertola, Giuseppe, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Labor Markets at Times of Public Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 8037, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Nawaz, Muhammad & Iqbal, Muhammad Mazhar & Ali, Amanat & Zaman, Khalid, 2012. "Fiscal Theory of Price Level: A Panel Data Analysis for selected Saarc Countries," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 152-170, September.
    19. Amela HUBIC & Francisco DE CASTRO, "undated". "The Effects of Inflation on General Government Accounts," EcoMod2010 259600077, EcoMod.
    20. Juan Equiza Goni, 2014. "Sovereign Debt Maturity and Debt-to GDP Dynamics in Six Euro Area Countries," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2014-44, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    21. Anuwat PUE-ON & Bert D WARD, "undated". "The Impact of Capital Intensive Farming in Thailand: A Computable General Equilibrium Approach," EcoMod2009 21500076, EcoMod.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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