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Government Debt and its Macroeconomic Determinants – An Empirical Investigation

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  • Swamy, Vighneswara

Abstract

In the context of rising government debt levels in advanced economies and the ongoing euro zone debt crisis, there has been a revival of academic and policy debate on the impact of growing government debt on economic growth. This data-rich study offers an econometric investigation of the macroeconomic determinants of government debt and answers the much-debated question – What factors influence the government debt in a sovereign country? The study provides analyses for economy groupings, political governance groupings and income groupings of countries in addition to the full sample. Panel Granger causality testing is employed to establish causality running from the determinants of debt. The results of the full sample analysis reveal that real GDP growth, foreign direct investment, government expenditure, inflation and population growth have negative effect on debt. Gross fixed capital formation, final consumption expenditure, and trade openness have positive effect on debt. The results for different country groupings bring out some interesting implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Swamy, Vighneswara, 2015. "Government Debt and its Macroeconomic Determinants – An Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 64106, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:64106
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Herndon & Michael Ash & Robert Pollin, 2014. "Does high public debt consistently stifle economic growth? A critique of Reinhart and Rogoff," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 257-279.
    2. Jaejoon Woo & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2015. "Public Debt and Growth," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(328), pages 705-739, October.
    3. Balázs Égert, 2015. "Public debt, economic growth and nonlinear effects: Myth or reality?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 226-238.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2012. "Public Debt Overhangs: Advanced-Economy Episodes since 1800," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 69-86, Summer.
    6. Baum, Anja & Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Rother, Philipp, 2013. "Debt and growth: New evidence for the euro area," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 809-821.
    7. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    8. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2010. "Debt and Growth Revisited," MPRA Paper 24376, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Aizenman, Joshua & Kletzer, Kenneth, 2007. "Economic Growth with Constraints on Tax Revenues and Public Debt: Implications for Fiscal Policy and Cross-Country Differences," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9421k9hq, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    10. Forslund, Kristine & Lima, Lycia & Panizza, Ugo, 2011. "The determinants of the composition of public debt in developing and emerging market countries," POLIS Working Papers 156, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zharku Lutfi, 2018. "(Un)Productive Use of Public Debt in Kosovo," Ekonomika (Economics), Sciendo, vol. 97(2), pages 18-37, December.
    2. Lerato Mothibi, 2019. "The impact of foreign debt and government debt on economic growth in South Africa," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 9912015, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    3. Panagiotis Pegkas, 2018. "The Effect of Government Debt and Other Determinants on Economic Growth: The Greek Experience," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(1), pages 1-19, February.
    4. Amjad S. Qwader & Sulieman D. Aloshaibat, 2020. "Components of the Public Budget and their Effects on Public Debt in Jordan," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 10(3), pages 88-96.
    5. Samia OMRANE BELGUITH & Hanen OMRANE, 2017. "Macroeconomic determinants of public debt growth: A case study for Tunisia," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(4(613), W), pages 161-168, Winter.
    6. Constance de Soyres & Anna Rogantini Picco & Randa Sab, 2019. "Debt Build-up in Frontier Low-Income Developing Countries (LIDCs) since 2012: Global or Country-specific Factors and Way Forward?," IMF Working Papers 2019/037, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Attahir Babaji Abubakar, 2020. "Does fiscal tightening (loosening) reduce public debt?," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 32(4), pages 528-539, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government Debt; economic growth; panel data; nonlinearity; country groupings;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

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