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Fiscal discipline and the cost of public debt service: some estimates for OECD countries

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ardagna, Silvia & Caselli, Francesco & Lane, Timothy, 2005. "Fiscal discipline and the cost of public debt service: some estimates for OECD countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3562, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3562
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government deficit; public debt; long-term interest rates;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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