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Dealing with Debt

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  • Reinhart, Carmen M.

    (Harvard University)

  • Reinhart, Vincent

    (American Enterprise Institute)

  • Rogoff, Kenneth

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

This paper explores the menu of options for renormalizing public debt levels relative to nominal activity in the long run, should governments eventually decide to do so. Orthodox ones for medium-term debt stabilization, the standard fare of officialdom, include enhancing growth, running primary budget surpluses, and privatizing government assets. Heterodox polices include restructuring debt contracts, generating unexpected inflation, taxing wealth, and repressing private finance. We examine 70 episodes across 22 advanced economies from 1800 to 2014 where there were significant and sustained reductions in public debt relative to nominal GDP. In the event, advanced countries have relied far more on heterodox approaches than many observers choose to remember.

Suggested Citation

  • Reinhart, Carmen M. & Reinhart, Vincent & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2015. "Dealing with Debt," Working Paper Series rwp15-009, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp15-009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gregori Galofré-Vilà & Martin McKee & Christopher M. Meissner & David Stuckler, 2016. "The Economic Consequences of the 1953 London Debt Agreement," NBER Working Papers 22557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sun, Lixin, 2016. "Corporate Deleveraging and Macroeconomic Policies: Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 69140, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bassanetti , Antonio & Cottarelli , Carlo & Presbitero, Andrea, 2016. "Lost and Found: Market Access and Public Debt Dynamics," SEP Working Papers 2016/5, LUISS School of European Political Economy.
    4. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Reinhart, Vincent & Tashiro, Takeshi, 2016. "Does reserve accumulation crowd out investment?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 89-111.
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2015. "Financial Crises, Development, and Growth: A Long-term Perspective," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(suppl_1), pages 53-76.
    6. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Francisco Roch, 2012. "Fiscal rules and the sovereign default premium," Working Paper 12-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    7. Consiglio Andrea & Zenios Stavros A., 2015. "Risk Management Optimization for Sovereign Debt Restructuring," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 181-213, December.
    8. Bandiera, Guilherme & Pappa, Evi & Sajedi, Rana & Vella, Eugenia, 2016. "Fiscal consolidation in a low inflation environment: pay cuts versus lost jobs," Bank of England working papers 628, Bank of England.
    9. Robertson, D. & Tambakis, D., 2016. "Long-Run Debt Ratios with Fiscal Fatigue," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1674, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    10. repec:liu:liucej:v:15:y:2018:i:1:p:165-189 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Matteo Salto, 2016. "Fiscal Policy after the Crisis – Workshop Proceedings," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 035, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    12. repec:aea:jecper:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:47-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. António Afonso & Frederico Silva Leal, 2017. "Sovereign yield spreads in the EMU: crisis and structural determinants," Working Papers Department of Economics 2017/09, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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