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

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  • Anna Shabunina
  • Julio Escolano
  • Jaejoon Woo

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Shabunina & Julio Escolano & Jaejoon Woo, 2011. "The Puzzle of Persistently Negative Interest Rate-Growth Differentials; Financial Repression or Income Catch-Up?," IMF Working Papers 11/260, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/260
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    Cited by:

    1. Philip Turner, 2013. "Benign neglect of the long-term interest rate," BIS Working Papers 403, Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Till Cordes & Tidiane Kinda & Priscilla S Muthoora & Anke Weber, 2015. "Expenditure Rules; Effective Tools for Sound Fiscal Policy?," IMF Working Papers 15/29, International Monetary Fund.
    3. David Amaglobeli & Nicolas End & Mariusz Jarmuzek & Geremia Palomba, 2015. "From Systemic Banking Crises to Fiscal Costs; Risk Factors," IMF Working Papers 15/166, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Bart W. Edes & Peter J. Morgan, 2014. "Managing Fiscal Sustainability and Aging in Emerging Asia," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 10(2), pages 319-348, August.
    5. David Turner & Francesca Spinelli, 2013. "The Effect of Government Debt, External Debt and their Interaction on OECD Interest Rates," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1103, OECD Publishing.
    6. Wenzlaff, Ferdinand & Kimmich, Christian & Richters, Oliver, 2014. "Theoretische Zugänge eines Wachstumszwangs in der Geldwirtschaft," Discussion Papers 45, University of Hamburg, Centre for Economic and Sociological Studies (CESS/ZÖSS).
    7. Nazim Belhocine & Salvatore Dell'Erba, 2013. "The Impact of Debt Sustainability and the Level of Debt on Emerging Markets Spreads," IMF Working Papers 13/93, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Di Casola, Paola & Sichlimiris, Spyridon, 2017. "Domestic and External Sovereign Debt," Working Paper Series 345, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    9. van Riet, Ad, 2018. "Financial repression and high public debt in Europe," Other publications TiSEM 3391dd73-357a-4071-825c-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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