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Fiscal discipline and the cost of public dept service: some estiames for OECD countries

  • Ardagna, Silvia
  • Caselli, Francesco
  • Lane, Timothy

We use a panel of 16 OECD countries over several decades to investigate the effects of government debts and deficits on long-term interest rates. In simple static specifications, a one-percentage-point increase in the primary deficit relative to GDP increases contemporaneous long-term interest rates by about 10 basis points. In a vector autoregression (VAR), the same shock leads to a cumulative increase of almost 150 basis points after 10 years. The effect of debt on interest rates is non-linear: only for countries with above-average levels of debt does an increase in debt affect the interest rate. World fiscal policy is also important: an increase in total OECD-government borrowing increases each country's interest rates. However, domestic fiscal policy continues to affect domestic interest rates even after controlling for worldwide debts and deficits. JEL Classification: E62, E44, H62

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0411.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20040411
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  1. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2002. "Should the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve be concerned about fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 333-389.
  2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "Perspectives on High World Real Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(2), pages 273-334.
  3. Barro, R.J. & Martin, X.S., 1990. "World Real Interest Rates," RCER Working Papers 227, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    • Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1990. "World Real Interest Rates," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 15-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Afonso, António & Strauch, Rolf, 2004. "Fiscal policy events and interest rate swap spreads: evidence from the EU," Working Paper Series 0303, European Central Bank.
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