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The Challenge of Debt Reduction during Fiscal Consolidation

  • Luc Eyraud
  • Anke Weber

Studies suggest that fiscal multipliers are currently high in many advanced economies. One important implication is that fiscal tightening could raise the debt ratio in the short term, as fiscal gains are partly wiped out by the decline in output. Although this effect is not long-lasting and debt eventually declines, it could be an issue if financial markets focus on the short-term behavior of the debt ratio, or if country authorities engage in repeated rounds of tightening in an effort to get the debt ratio to converge to the official target. We discuss whether these problems could be addressed by setting and monitoring debt targets in cyclically-adjusted terms.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 13/67.

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Length: 36
Date of creation: 08 Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:13/67
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  1. Hess Chung & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "What Has Financed Government Debt?," NBER Working Papers 13425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2007. "Debt and the effects of fiscal policy," Working Papers 317, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Nitika Bagaria & Dawn Holland & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Fiscal consolidation during a depression," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47524, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Luca Sessa & Libero Monteforte & Lorenzo Forni, 2007. "The general equilibrium effects of fiscal policy: estimates for the euro area," 2007 Meeting Papers 352, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Todd B. Walker & Eric M. Leeper & Shu-Chun S. Yang, 2012. "Fiscal Foresight and Information Flows," IMF Working Papers 12/153, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2009. "How large are the effects of tax changes?," Working Papers 350, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Anja Baum & Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro & Anke Weber, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers and the State of the Economy," IMF Working Papers 12/286, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Reda, Cherif & Fuad, Hasanov, 2010. "Public Debt Dynamics and Debt Feedback," MPRA Paper 27918, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Roberto Perotti, 2008. "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2007, Volume 22, pages 169-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2011. "Foresight and Information Flows," NBER Working Papers 16951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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