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A Comparison of Debt and Primary-deficit Constraints

Author

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  • Beetsma, Roel
  • Ribeiro, Marcos Poplawski
  • Schabert, Andreas

Abstract

This paper compares constraints on the public debt with constraints on the primary deficit. The analysis takes into account how an optimizing government reacts to the different constraints when deciding on a spending and borrowing plan. We find that the economy behaves similarly under both constraints, although for our benchmark calibration welfare is higher under the debt constraint. Further, the debt constraint is more robust against changes in the interest rate. Our results lend support to the enhanced focus on the public debt after the recent reform of the Stability and Growth Pact.

Suggested Citation

  • Beetsma, Roel & Ribeiro, Marcos Poplawski & Schabert, Andreas, 2008. "A Comparison of Debt and Primary-deficit Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 6897, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6897
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luisa Lambertini, 2007. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Monetary Union," Working Papers 200801, Center for Fiscal Policy, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne.
    2. Beetsma, Roel M.W.J. & Jensen, Henrik, 2005. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in a micro-founded model of a monetary union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 320-352, December.
    3. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
    4. Pappa, Evi & Vassilatos, Vanghelis, 2007. "The unbearable tightness of being in a monetary union: Fiscal restrictions and regional stability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1492-1513, August.
    5. Poplawski Ribeiro, Marcos & Beetsma, Roel, 2008. "The political economy of structural reforms under a deficit restriction," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 179-198, March.
    6. Beetsma, Roel M.W.J. & Debrun, Xavier, 2007. "The new stability and growth pact: A first assessment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 453-477, February.
    7. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Solving dynamic general equilibrium models using a second-order approximation to the policy function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 755-775, January.
    8. Collard, Fabrice & Juillard, Michel, 2001. "A Higher-Order Taylor Expansion Approach to Simulation of Stochastic Forward-Looking Models with an Application to a Nonlinear Phillips Curve Model," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 17(2-3), pages 125-139, June.
    9. Grossman, Herschel I & Van Huyck, John B, 1988. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1088-1097, December.
    10. Henrik Jensen, 2002. "Targeting Nominal Income Growth or Inflation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 928-956, September.
    11. Krogstrup, Signe & Wyplosz, Charles, 2006. "A Common Pool Theory of Deficit Bias Correction," CEPR Discussion Papers 5866, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Bayoumi, Tamim & Goldstein, Morris & Woglom, Geoffrey, 1995. "Do Credit Markets Discipline Sovereign Borrowers? Evidence from US States," CEPR Discussion Papers 1088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pinaki Chakraborty, 2017. "Federalism, fiscal space, and public investment spending: do fiscal rules impose hard-budget constraints?," Chapters,in: Central and Local Government Relations in Asia, chapter 3, pages 103-129 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Francisco Roch, 2012. "Fiscal rules and the sovereign default premium," Working Paper 12-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    3. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro, 2009. "New Evidence on the Effectiveness of Europe's Fiscal Restrictions," Working Papers 2009-13, CEPII research center.
    4. Rieth, Malte, 2014. "Myopic governments and welfare-enhancing debt limits," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 250-265.
    5. Krogstrup, Signe & Wyplosz, Charles, 2010. "A common pool theory of supranational deficit ceilings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 269-278, February.
    6. Davide Furceri & Annabelle Mourougane, 2010. "The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Output: A DSGE Analysis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 770, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal constraints; myopia; social welfare; Stability and Growth Pact;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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