On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for Empirical Testing
This paper seeks to distinguish empirically between two views on the limitations of government borrowing. According to one view, nothing precludes the government from running a permanent budget deficit, paying interest due on the growing debt load simply by issuing new debt, An alternative perspective holds that creditors would be unwilling to purchase government debt unless the government made a credible commitment to balance its budget in present value terms. We show that distinguishing between these possibilities is mathematically equivalent to testing whether a continuing currency inflation might be fueled by speculation alone or is instead driven solely by economic fundamentals. Empirical tests which have been developed for this economic question lead us to conclude that postwar U.S. deficits are largely consistent with the proposition that the government budget must be balanced in present-value terms.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1985|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Hamilton, James D. and Marjorie Flavin,"On the Limitations of Governemnt Borrowing: A Framework for Empirical Testing,"American Economic Review, Vol. 76, No. 4, September 1986.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Burbidge, John B, 1983. "Government Debt in an Overlapping-Generations Model with Bequests and Gifts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 222-27, March.
- Aschauer, David Alan, 1985. "Fiscal Policy and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 117-27, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1632. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.