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International Evidenceon Fiscal Solvency; Is Fiscal Policy "Responsible"?

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  • Enrique G. Mendoza
  • Jonathan David Ostry

Abstract

This paper looks at fiscal solvency and public debt sustainability in both emerging market and advanced countries. Evidence of fiscal solvency, in the form of a robust positive conditional relationship between public debt and the primary fiscal balance, is established in both groups of countries. Evidence of fiscal solvency is much weaker, however, at high debt levels. These findings suggest that many industrial and emerging market economies, including several where fiscal solvency has been the subject of recent debates, appear to conduct fiscal policy responsibly. Yet our results cannot reject the hypothesis of fiscal insolvency in groups of countries with high debt ratios.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan David Ostry, 2007. "International Evidenceon Fiscal Solvency; Is Fiscal Policy "Responsible"?," IMF Working Papers 07/56, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/56
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Filipe R. Campante & Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1006-1036, September.
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    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Enrique G. Mendoza & P. Marcelo Oviedo, 2006. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Uncertainty in Developing Countries: The Tale of the Tormented Insurer," NBER Working Papers 12586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt sustainability; Fiscal policy; fiscal solvency; public debt; debt ratio; debt ratios; National Budget; Deficit; And Debt;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt

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