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Debt Sustainability and Financial Crises: Evidence from the GIIPS

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  • Gabriella Deborah Legrenzi
  • Costas Milas

Abstract

We assess the sustainability of the public finances of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain (GIIPS), allowing for possible non-linearities in the form of threshold behaviour of the fiscal authorities. We provide some evidence of fiscal sustainability when debt gets “too high” relative to a threshold which is not necessarily fixed but varies with the level of debt relative to its recent history and/or the occurrence of a financial crisis. However, the Greek and Italian debt-to-GDP threshold levels (over which adjustment takes place) exceed 87% and rise further in periods of financial crises. This arguably adds to international investors’ concerns, and as a result, raises the yields demanded for holding Greek and Italian debt. As debt is rolled over at high interest rates, fiscal prospects worsen making default more likely and adding to contagion effects from one Eurozone country to another.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriella Deborah Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2011. "Debt Sustainability and Financial Crises: Evidence from the GIIPS," CESifo Working Paper Series 3594, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3594
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Carlos Cuestas, 2016. "Changes in sovereign debt dynamics in Central and Eastern Europe," Working Papers 16-10, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.
    2. Süleyman Bolat & Aviral Kumar Tiwari & Mihai Mutascu, 2014. "The behaviour of US and UK public debt: further evidence based on time varying parameters," Working Papers halshs-01107962, HAL.
    3. repec:mes:emfitr:v:51:y:2015:i:1:p:224-233 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Aviral Kumar Tiwari, 2012. "Debt Sustainability in India: Empirical Evidence Estimating Time-Varying Parameters," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1133-1141.
    5. Afonso, António & Jalles, João Tovar, 2012. "Revisiting fiscal sustainability: panel cointegration and structural breaks in OECD countries," Working Paper Series 1465, European Central Bank.
    6. Ruthira Naraidoo & Leroi Raputsoane, 2013. "Debt sustainability and financial crises in South Africa," Working Papers 201352, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    debt sustainability; financial crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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