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The Economic Consequences of Rising U.S. Government Debt: Privileges at Risk

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  • Bohn, Henning

Abstract

The rapidly growing federal government debt has become a concern for policy makers and the public. Yet the U.S. government has seemingly unbounded access to credit at low interest rates. Historically, Treasury yields have been below the growth rate of the economy. The paper examines the ramifications of debt financing at low interest rates. Given the short maturity of U.S. public debt – over $2.5 trillion maturing in 2010 – investor expectations are critical. Excessive debts justify reasonable doubts about solvency and monetary stability and thus undermine a financing strategy built on the perception that U.S. debt is safe.

Suggested Citation

  • Bohn, Henning, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of Rising U.S. Government Debt: Privileges at Risk," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7kz6v3zs, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt7kz6v3zs
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Fabrice Collard & Michel Habib & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2015. "Sovereign Debt Sustainability In Advanced Economies," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 381-420, June.
    3. Cascio, Iolanda Lo, 2015. "A wavelet analysis of US fiscal sustainability," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 33-37.
    4. Syed, Munawar-Shah & Mariani, Abdul-Majid & Syed, Hussain-Shah, 2014. "Assessing Fiscal Sustainability for SAARC and IMT-GT Countries," MPRA Paper 62815, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2014.
    5. R. Golinelli & I. Mammi & A. Musolesi, 2018. "Parameter heterogeneity, persistence and cross-sectional dependence: new insights on fiscal policy reaction functions for the Euro area," Working Papers wp1120, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    6. Philippe Burger & Krige Siebrits & Estian Calitz, 2015. "The public sector balance sheet and fiscal consolidation in South Africa," Working Papers 11/2015, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    7. Munawar-Shah, Syed & Abdul-Majid, Mariani & Hussain-Shah, Syed, 2014. "Assessing Fiscal Sustainability for SAARC and IMT-GT Countries," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 26-40.
    8. repec:eee:macchp:v2-2493 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    government debt; budget deficits; Social and Behavioral Sciences;

    JEL classification:

    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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