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The Puzzle of Persistently Negative Interest Rate-Growth Differentials; Financial Repression or Income Catch-Up?

  • Anna Shabunina
  • Julio Escolano
  • Jaejoon Woo

The interest rate-growth differential (IRGD) shows a marked correlation with GDP per capita. It has been on average around 1 percentage point for large advanced economies during 1999-2008; but below -7 percentage points among non-advanced economies - exerting a powerful stabilizing influence on government debt ratios. We show that large negative IRGDs are largely due to real interest rates well below market equilibrium - possibly stemming from financial repression and captive and distorted markets, whereas the income catch-up process plays a relatively modest role. We find econometric support for this conjecture. Therefore, the IRGD in non-advanced economies is likely to rise with financial integration and market development, well before their GDP per capita converges to advanced-economy levels.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 11/260.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/260
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  1. Emanuele Baldacci & Ding Ding & David Coady & Giovanni Callegari & Pietro Tommasino & Jaejoon Woo & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2010. "Public Expenditureson Social Programs and Household Consumption in China," IMF Working Papers 10/69, International Monetary Fund.
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  8. Levine, Ross, 2005. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 865-934 Elsevier.
  9. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
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