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Is There a Debt-threshold Effect on Output Growth?

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Listed:
  • Mr. Alexander Chudik
  • Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes
  • Mr. Mehdi Raissi
  • M. Hashem Pesaran

Abstract

This paper studies the long-run impact of public debt expansion on economic growth and investigates whether the debt-growth relation varies with the level of indebtedness. Our contribution is both theoretical and empirical. On the theoretical side, we develop tests for threshold effects in the context of dynamic heterogeneous panel data models with cross-sectionally dependent errors and illustrate, by means of Monte Carlo experiments, that they perform well in small samples. On the empirical side, using data on a sample of 40 countries (grouped into advanced and developing) over the 1965- 2010 period, we find no evidence for a universally applicable threshold effect in the relationship between public debt and economic growth, once we account for the impact of global factors and their spillover effects. Regardless of the threshold, however, we find significant negative long-run effects of public debt build-up on output growth. Provided that public debt is on a downward trajectory, a country with a high level of debt can grow just as fast as its peers in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Mr. Alexander Chudik & Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes & Mr. Mehdi Raissi & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2015. "Is There a Debt-threshold Effect on Output Growth?," IMF Working Papers 2015/197, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2015/197
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    WP; least squares; Panel tests of threshold effects; long-run relationships; estimation and inference; large dynamic heterogeneous panels; cross-section dependence; debt; and inflation; long-run effect; feedback effect; spillover effect; trajectory effect; effects estimator; threshold variable; growth rate; debt-inflation-growth exercise; debt trajectory effect; Threshold analysis; Production growth; Inflation; Global;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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