IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecb/ecbwps/20101241.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Major public debt reductions: Lessons from the past, lessons for the future

Author

Listed:
  • Nickel, Christiane
  • Rother, Philipp
  • Zimmermann, Lilli

Abstract

The financial crisis of 2008/2009 has left European economies with a sizeable public debt stock bringing back the question what factors help to reduce these fiscal imbalances. Using data for the period 1985-2009 this paper identifies factors determining major public debt reductions. On average, the total debt reduction per country amounted to almost 37 percentage points of GDP. We estimate several specifications of a logistic probability model. Our findings suggest that, first, major debt reductions are mainly driven by decisive and lasting (rather than timid and short-lived) fiscal consolidation efforts focused on reducing government expenditure, in particular, cuts in social benefits and public wages. Second, robust real GDP growth also increases the likelihood of a major debt reduction because it helps countries to "grow their way out" of indebtedness. Third, high debt servicing costs play a disciplinary role strengthened by market forces and require governments to set up credible plans to stop and reverse the increasing debt ratios. JEL Classification: C35, E62, H6

Suggested Citation

  • Nickel, Christiane & Rother, Philipp & Zimmermann, Lilli, 2010. "Major public debt reductions: Lessons from the past, lessons for the future," Working Paper Series 1241, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101241
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1241.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. van Aarle, Bas & Garretsen, Harry, 2003. "Keynesian, non-Keynesian or no effects of fiscal policy changes? The EMU case," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 213-240.
    2. van Aarle, Bas & Garretsen, Harry, 2003. "Keynesian, non-Keynesian or no effects of fiscal policy changes? The EMU case," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 213-240.
    3. Alfred Greiner & Uwe Köller & Willi Semmler, 2007. "Debt sustainability in the European Monetary Union: Theory and empirical evidence for selected countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 194-218, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:mje:mjejnl:v:13:y:2017:i:3:p:135-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ferrara, Maria & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2017. "Equitable fiscal consolidations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 207-223.
    3. Nedelcu Monica Letitia, 2013. "The Liquidity of the Financial System and the Sovereign Debt Crisis in Europe – Is There a Solution?," Ovidius University Annals, Economic Sciences Series, Ovidius University of Constantza, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 0(1), pages 238-243, May.
    4. repec:mje:mjejnl:v:12:y:2017:i:3:p:135-148 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    binary choice models; Fiscal Policy; public debt;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101241. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/emieude.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.