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Effect on potential growth of non-sustainable public debt dynamics: an application to France

  • Frédéric Gonand

    (CECO - Laboratoire d'econometrie de l'école polytechnique - CNRS - Polytechnique - X)

This paper assesses the impact on potential growth up to 2020 of possible future budget deficit dynamics in France, with new ageing-related expenditures financed exclusively by debt. The methodology calibrates a standard analytical model with production function and proportional taxes using national accounts. It documents the intuition according to which debt-building significantly crowds out productive capital accumulation. Simulations suggest that a crowding-out adjusted (public debt/GDP) ratio should keep increasing significantly, reaching 97% in 2020 at unchanged policies. It would stabilize around 60% only if sizeable primary surpluses (excluding new ageing-related expenditures) of 1.25% GDP were achieved on average. Yet the detrimental impact on potential growth of loose budget policies combined with new ageing-related expenditures financed only by debt would remain limited: around -0.1% GDP per year on average

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00242973
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  1. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Douglas W. Elmendorf & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1998. "Government Debt," NBER Working Papers 6470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Gregory Mankiw, N., 1999. "Government debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1615-1669 Elsevier.
  3. Evans, Paul, 1991. "Is Ricardian Equivalence a Good Approximation?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(4), pages 626-44, October.
  4. Thomas Laubach, 2003. "New evidence on the interest rate effects of budget deficits and debt," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Thai-Thanh Dang & Pablo Antolín & Howard Oxley, 2001. "Fiscal Implications of Ageing: Projections of Age-Related Spending," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 305, OECD Publishing.
  7. Joaquim Oliveira Martins & Frédéric Gonand & Pablo Antolín & Christine de la Maisonneuve & Kwang-Yeol Yoo, 2005. "The Impact of Ageing on Demand, Factor Markets and Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 420, OECD Publishing.
  8. Robert B. Barsky & N. Gregory Mankiw & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1984. "Ricardian Consumers With Keynesian Propensities," NBER Working Papers 1400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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