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Long-term fiscal sustainability in major economies


  • Alan J Auerbach


As the world economy slowly recovers from the very deep and widespread recession of recent years, many countries confront very serious fiscal imbalances. How much time they have to deal with these imbalances is a central question, the salience of which can only have been increased by the ongoing fiscal crisis and bailout in Greece and the immediate fiscal adjustments being discussed or already undertaken in several other countries. There is little doubt that much of the current attention to fiscal imbalances is attributable to the rapid increases in debt to GDP ratios arising from the recession, either directly through the automatic tax and spending responses to slow growth, or indirectly through the countercyclical discretionary fiscal measures undertaken. Table 1 shows the evolution of net general government debt to GDP ratios for several leading economies in recent years, starting in 2007, just as the worldwide recession began.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan J Auerbach, 2011. "Long-term fiscal sustainability in major economies," BIS Working Papers 361, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:361

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicos Christodoulakis, 2011. "From Indecision To Fast-Track Privatisations: Can Greece Still Do It?," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 217(1), pages 60-74, July.
    2. Davis, E. Philip & Karim, Dilruba, 2008. "Comparing early warning systems for banking crises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 89-120, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan J Auerbach, 2016. "Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability in Advanced Economies," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 142-154, May.
    2. Olivier Cardi & Romain Restout, 2014. "Unanticipated vs. Anticipated Tax Reforms in a Two-Sector Open Economy," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 373-406, April.

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    deficit; fiscal gap; fiscal rule; fiscal policy; fiscal sustainability;

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