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A Historical Public Debt Database

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  • International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper describes the compilation of the first truly comprehensive database on gross government debt-to-GDP ratios, covering nearly the entire IMF membership (174 countries) and spanning an exceptionally long time period. The database was constructed by bringing together a number of other datasets and information from original sources. For the most recent years, the data are linked to the IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) database to facilitate regular updates. The paper discusses the evolution of debt-to-GDP ratios across country groups for several decades, episodes of debt spikes and reversals, and a pattern of negative correlation between debt and growth.

Suggested Citation

  • International Monetary Fund, 2010. "A Historical Public Debt Database," IMF Working Papers 10/245, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/245
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    File URL: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=24332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 1065-1188, November.
    3. S M Ali Abbas & Jakob E Christensen, 2010. "The Role of Domestic Debt Markets in Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation for Low-Income Countries and Emerging Markets," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 57(1), pages 209-255, April.
    4. Dany Jaimovich & Ugo Panizza, 2010. "Public debt around the world: a new data set of central government debt," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 19-24, January.
    5. Missale, Alessandro, 1999. "Public Debt Management," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290858.
    6. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2010. "This Time is Different Chartbook: Country Histories on Debt, Default, and Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 15815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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