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When is debt sustainable?

  • Jasper Lukkezen

    ()

  • Hugo Rojas-Romagosa

    ()

This CPB Discussion Paper proposes indicators to assess government debt sustainability. Sustainable government finances can be achieved via three main channels: fiscal responses, economic growth and financial repression. The fiscal response provides information on the long-term country specific attitude towards fiscal sustainability and is estimated using Bohn (2008)’s approach. We combine the estimated fiscal response with a stochastic debt simulation and calculate the probability of debt-to-GDP ratios rising above some threshold. This is applied on historical data for seven OECD countries. In particular, the probability of debt-to-GDP ratios rising by more than 20% in the next decade clearly identifies countries that have sustainability concerns: Spain, Portugal and Iceland, from those that do not: US, UK, Netherlands and Belgium. Read also: CPB Policy Brief 2013/08 'Early warning indicators for debt sustainability' .

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Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 212.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:212
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  1. Atish R. Ghosh & Jun I. Kim & Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan D. Ostry & Mahvash S. Qureshi, 2011. "Fiscal Fatigue, Fiscal Space and Debt Sustainability in Advanced Economies," NBER Working Papers 16782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," Scholarly Articles 11129154, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2008. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," CEMA Working Papers 595, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  4. Nina Budina & Sweder van Wijnbergen, 2008. "Quantitative Approaches to Fiscal Sustainability Analysis: A Case Study of Turkey since the Crisis of 2001," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(1), pages 119-140, November.
  5. Carlos Fonseca Marinheiro, 2005. "Sustainability of Portuguese Fiscal Policy in Historical Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 1399, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Polito, Vito & Wickens, Mike, 2012. "A model-based indicator of the fiscal stance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 526-551.
  7. Carmen M. Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2011. "The Liquidation of Government Debt," BIS Working Papers 363, Bank for International Settlements.
  8. Haselmann,Rainer & Holle,Stephanie & Kool,Clemens & Ziesemer,Thomas, 2002. "Sovereign Risk and Simple Debt Dynamics: The Case of Brazil and Argentina," Research Memorandum 034, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  9. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
  10. Prados de la Escosura Leandro, 2003. "El progreso económico de España (1850-2000)," Books, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation, edition 1, number 201136.
  11. Antonio Afonso, 2004. "Fiscal Sustainability: the Unpleasant European Case," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 57, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  12. Furceri, Davide & Zdzienicka, Aleksandra, 2011. "How costly are debt crises?," MPRA Paper 30953, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Federico Sturzenegger & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2007. "Debt Defaults and Lessons from a Decade of Crises," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262195534, June.
  14. De Paoli, Bianca & Hoggarth, Glenn & Saporta, Victoria, 2009. "Output costs of sovereign crises: some empirical estimates," Bank of England working papers 362, Bank of England.
  15. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," NBER Working Papers 15795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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