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A Historical Public Debt Database

  • International Monetary Fund

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.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 10/245.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/245
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  1. Missale, Alessandro, 1999. "Public Debt Management," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290858.
  2. Dany Jaimovich & Ugo Panizza, 2006. "Public Debt around the World: A New Dataset of Central Government Debt," Research Department Publications 4461, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Reinhart, Carmen, 2009. "The Second Great Contraction," MPRA Paper 21485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. S. M. Ali Abbas & Jakob Christensen, 2007. "The Role of Domestic Debt Markets in Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation for Low-Income Countries and Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 07/127, International Monetary Fund.
  5. 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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