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Primary Surpluses and sustainable Debt Levels in Emerging Market Countries

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  • Jonathan David Ostry
  • Abdul d Abiad

Abstract

This paper aims to put some constraints on the way primary surpluses are projected when making assessments of public debt sustainability. Projections should be tied either to the country's historical track record in generating surpluses-if the institutional and other factors accounting for this track record are expected to persist-or to some model that links primary surpluses to their fundamental determinants, either on the basis of constant institutions and policies or a credible reform program. History-based or model-based primary surplus projections provide a useful benchmark for judging the realism of fiscal forecasts underlying debt sustainability calculations. Together with information on future growth and interest rates, the primary surplus projections can be used to generate measures of overborrowing, and the magnitude of adjustment needed to return debt to a sustainable level.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan David Ostry & Abdul d Abiad, 2005. "Primary Surpluses and sustainable Debt Levels in Emerging Market Countries," IMF Policy Discussion Papers 05/6, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfpdp:05/6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior of U. S. Public Debt and Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963.
    2. Oya Celasun & Xavier Debrun & Jonathan D. Ostry, 2006. "Primary Surplus Behavior and Risks to Fiscal Sustainability in Emerging Market Countries: A "Fan-Chart" Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(3), pages 1-3.
    3. Alesina, Alberto & Hausmann, Ricardo & Hommes, Rudolf & Stein, Ernesto, 1999. "Budget institutions and fiscal performance in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 253-273.
    4. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    5. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
    6. W. J. Henisz, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Economic Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-31, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kai Liu, 2014. "Public Finances, Business Cycles and Structural Fiscal Balances," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1411, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Maxime MENUET & Alexandru MINEA & Patrick VILLIEU, 2017. "Public Debt, Endogenous Growth Cycles Public Debt, Endogenous Growth Cycles and Indeterminacy," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2467, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    3. Axel Schimmelpfennig & E. H. Gardner, 2008. "Lebanon—Weathering the Perfect Storms," IMF Working Papers 08/17, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Atish R. Ghosh & Jun I. Kim & Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan D. Ostry & Mahvash S. Qureshi, 2013. "Fiscal Fatigue, Fiscal Space and Debt Sustainability in Advanced Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 4-30, February.
    5. Charles Wyplosz, 2011. "Debt Sustainability Assessment: Mission Impossible," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(3).
    6. Petia Topalova & Dan Nyberg, 2010. "What Level of Public Debt Could India Target?," IMF Working Papers 10/7, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Vdovychenko Artem, 2016. "Fiscal Policy Rection and Sustainability of Fiscal Policy in Ukraine," EERC Working Paper Series 16/07e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    8. Agliardi, Elettra & Agliardi, Rossella & Pinar, Mehmet & Stengos, Thanasis & Topaloglou, Nikolas, 2012. "A new country risk index for emerging markets: A stochastic dominance approach," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 741-761.
    9. Oya Celasun & Xavier Debrun & Jonathan D. Ostry, 2006. "Primary Surplus Behavior and Risks to Fiscal Sustainability in Emerging Market Countries: A "Fan-Chart" Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(3), pages 1-3.
    10. repec:agr:journl:v:3(612):y:2017:i:3(612):p:63-70 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Oya Celasun & Joong S Kang, 2006. "On the Properties of Various Estimators for Fiscal Reaction Functions," IMF Working Papers 06/182, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Cyrus MUTUKU, 2015. "Assessing Fiscal Policy Cyclicality and Sustainability: A Fiscal Reaction Function for Kenya," Journal of Economics Library, KSP Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 173-191, September.
    13. Lees, Kirdan, 2013. "Fighting fit? Assessing New Zealand’s fiscal sustainability," NZIER Working Paper 2013/5, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
    14. Nerlich, Carolin & Reuter, Wolf Heinrich, 2015. "Fiscal rules, fiscal space and procyclical fiscal policy," Working Paper Series 1872, European Central Bank.
    15. Serhan Cevik & Katerina Teksoz, 2014. "Deep Roots of Fiscal Behavior," Journal of Banking and Financial Economics, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 2(2), pages 5-33, November.
    16. Ghosh, Atish R. & Ostry, Jonathan D. & Qureshi, Mahvash S., 2013. "Fiscal space and sovereign risk pricing in a currency union," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 131-163.
    17. Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Žďárek, Václav, 2017. "Fiscal reaction function and fiscal fatigue: evidence for the euro area," Working Paper Series 2036, European Central Bank.
    18. Yilmaz Akyüz, 2007. "Debt Sustainability in Emerging Markets: A Critical Appraisal," Working Papers 61, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    19. Djedje Hermann Yohou, 2015. "In Search of Fiscal Space in Africa: The Role of the Quality of Government Spending," Working Papers halshs-01222812, HAL.
    20. repec:agr:journl:v:xxiv:y:2017:i:2(611):p:5-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Rudi Kurniawan, 2015. "Does Indonesia Pursue Sustainable Fiscal Policy?," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201504, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Nov 2015.

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