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

  • Enrique G. Mendoza
  • Jonathan David Ostry

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.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/56.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/56
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  1. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Paolo Mauro & André Faria & Jonathan David Ostry & Julian di Giovanni & Martin Schindler & M. Ayhan Kose & Marco Terrones, 2008. "Reaping the Benefits of Financial Globalization," IMF Occasional Papers 264, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is Fiscal Policy often Procyclical?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1556, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 1996. "Optimal taxation without state-contingent debt," Economics Working Papers 170, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2001.
  4. Bohn, H., 1990. "The Sutainability Of Budget Deficits In A Stochastic Economy," Weiss Center Working Papers 6-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  5. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  7. Barro, Robert J, 1986. " U.S. Deficits since World War I," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 195-22.
  8. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Vegh, 2004. "When it Rains, it Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Working Papers 10780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, June.
  12. Bennett Sutton & Luis Catão, 2002. "Sovereign Defaults; The Role of Volatility," IMF Working Papers 02/149, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Talvi, Ernesto & Vegh, Carlos A., 2005. "Tax base variability and procyclical fiscal policy in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 156-190, October.
  14. 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.
  15. Henning Bohn, 2005. "The Sustainability of Fiscal Policy in the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 1446, CESifo Group Munich.
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