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Primary Surpluses and sustainable Debt Levels in Emerging Market Countries

  • Jonathan David Ostry
  • Abdul Abiad

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.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Policy Discussion Papers with number 05/6.

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Length: 19
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfpdp:05/6
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  1. Stein, Ernesto & Hommes, Rudolf & Hausmann, Ricardo & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Latin America," Scholarly Articles 4553021, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
  3. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. W. J. Henisz, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Economic Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-31, 03.
  5. Oya Celasun & Xavier Debrun & Jonathan David Ostry, 2006. "Primary Surplus Behavior and Risks to Fiscal Sustainability in Emerging Market Countries; A "Fan-Chart" Approach," IMF Working Papers 06/67, International Monetary Fund.
  6. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517 is not listed on IDEAS
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