IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Debito, Mezzogiorno e sviluppo. A trivial exercise
[Sovereign Debt Sustainability, Mezzogiorno and Economic Growth. A Trivial Exercise]


  • Pica, Federico
  • Villani, Salvatore


The analysis presented in this paper deals with two main issues: the one of debt sustainability, meant in the particular acceptation proposed in this article, and the one of the effects of debt decumulation for the various territorial communities, in particular for the weak areas of Italy (Mezzogiorno). The sustainability refers to the effects of the governmental financial situation on the growth rate of available resources for the purposes of consumption and investment. The proposed exercise aims at showing some possible outcomes of the economic and financial crisis that is taking place. Actually, the hypotheses proposed do not lead to a prevision, but to a prediction, that is a sort of prophecy deduced from a very limited set of data. Four hypotheses, concerning the constraints of various kinds regulating the variation over time of the debt amount, are proposed: firstly, the zero debt (or constant debt) hypothesis; secondly, the case of the invariance of GDP-debt ratio; thirdly, the hypothesis of a ceiling on public debt and, lastly, the case of a programmed path of public debt reduction, such as the fiscal compact. The above mentioned exercise consists in calculating, using the data collected in 2011, the rate of change in income of the areas considered (the country as a whole, the Southern Italy, excluding the islands) for the years going from 2013 to 2015. In the best case proposed (that is the zero debt hypothesis), the results prefigure a prognosis of stagnation in the economy of our country, which is more serious for the enterprises and the families of Mezzogiorno than in the rest of Italy. The other three cases, however, prefigure a situation of decline, which is more serious for the last proposed scenario, i.e. for the case of a programmed path of debt decumulation. In the Authors’ view, it takes to consider that, in Europe, the situation of the Italian Republic is similar to that one of a local government. Therefore, when a debt is assumed, a path of debt repayment in the coming years, which should be financed on the current budget, should be defined.

Suggested Citation

  • Pica, Federico & Villani, Salvatore, 2012. "Debito, Mezzogiorno e sviluppo. A trivial exercise
    [Sovereign Debt Sustainability, Mezzogiorno and Economic Growth. A Trivial Exercise]
    ," MPRA Paper 43199, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 28 Nov 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:43199

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: revised version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Bagnai, 2004. "Keynesian And Neoclassical Fiscal Sustainability Indicators, With Applications To Emu Member Countries," Public Economics 0411005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Leiner-Killinger, Nadine & Slavík, Michal & Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric, 2011. "The response of labour taxation to changes in government debt," Working Paper Series 1307, European Central Bank.
    3. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior of U. S. Public Debt and Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963.
    4. Pasinetti, Luigi L, 1998. "The Myth (or Folly) of the 3 Percent Deficit/GDP Maastricht 'Parameter.'," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 103-116, January.
    5. Stephen Cecchetti & Madhusudan Mohanty & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2011. "The real effects of debt," BIS Working Papers 352, Bank for International Settlements.
    6. Wilcox, David W, 1989. "The Sustainability of Government Deficits: Implications of the Present-Value Borrowing Constraint," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(3), pages 291-306, August.
    7. Trehan, Bharat & Walsh, Carl E., 1988. "Common trends, the government's budget constraint, and revenue smoothing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 425-444.
    8. Luigi Spaventa, 1987. "The Growth of Public Debt: Sustainability, Fiscal Rules, and Monetary Rules," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(2), pages 374-399, June.
    9. Hamilton, James D & Flavin, Marjorie A, 1986. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for EmpiricalTesting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 808-819, September.
    10. Hakkio, Craig S & Rush, Mark, 1991. "Is the Budget Deficit "Too Large?"," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 429-445, July.
    11. Smith, Gregor W & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Persistent Deficits and the Market Value of Government Debt," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(1), pages 31-44, Jan.-Marc.
    12. Matteo Formenti, 2008. "Indicators and Tests of Sustainability: The Italian Case," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 98(6), pages 123-160, November-.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Sovereign Debt Sustainability; State and Local Budget and Expenditures; Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects; State and Local Borrowing;

    JEL classification:

    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:43199. 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: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.