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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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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00242973.

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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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.).
  8. Evans, Paul, 1991. "Is Ricardian Equivalence a Good Approximation?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(4), pages 626-44, October.
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