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Fiscal Deficits, Seigniorage and External Debt: The Case of Greece

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  • Alogoskoufis, George
  • Christodoulakis, Nikos

Abstract

This paper investigates the relation between the rise in external debt and fiscal developments in Greece. We use an intertemporal model of optimal private-sector savings to argue that stabilization of the public debt/GDP ratio will be sufficient to stabilize the external debt/GDP ratio as well. Our results suggest that stabilization of the public debt/ GDP ratio at a given level through higher taxation will result in a higher external debt/GDP ratio than stabilization at the same level through a reduction in (non-interest) government expenditure. They also suggest that in the case of Greece there is no further scope for a steady-state increase in seigniorage revenue. In fact, the inflation rate slightly exceeds the seigniorage-maximizing rate. We calculate that if the public sector debt were to be stabilized at its current level of approximately 100% of GDP, the primary deficit (i.e., the deficit excluding interest payments) would have to fall to 0.3% of GDP from its projected ratio of 6.5% in 1990 and 5.1% in 1991.

Suggested Citation

  • Alogoskoufis, George & Christodoulakis, Nikos, 1990. "Fiscal Deficits, Seigniorage and External Debt: The Case of Greece," CEPR Discussion Papers 468, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:468
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mourmouras, Iannis A. & Su, Dou-Ming, 1995. "Central bank independence, policy reforms and the credibility of public debt stabilizations," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 189-204, March.
    2. Sophia Lazaretou, 2005. "Greek Monetary Economics in Retrospect: The Adventures of the Drachma," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 34(3), pages 331-370, November.
    3. Nina Budina & Sweder Van Wijnbergen, 2001. "Fiscal deficits, monetary reform and inflation stabilization in romania," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 165-194.
    4. Kapopoulos, Panayotis, 2004. "When can fiscal consolidation be expansionary? Evidence from a small open economy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 26(8-9), pages 1031-1043, December.

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