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Unpleasant debt dynamics: Can fiscal consolidations raise debt ratios?

Author

Listed:
  • Gabriela Castro
  • José R. Maria
  • Paulo Júlio
  • Ricardo Mourinho Félix

Abstract

Using PESSOA, a medium-scale DSGE model for a small euro-area economy, we evaluate how fiscal adjustments impact short- and medium-term debt dynamics and output for alternative policy options, and budgetary and economic conditions. Fiscal adjustments may increase the public debt-to-GDP ratio in the short run, even for consolidations carried out in normal times in economies characterized by moderate indebtedness levels. Financial turmoils and hikes in the nationwide risk premia, coupled with high indebtedness levels and stiff fiscal measures, boost the output costs of fiscal consolidations and severely affect their effectiveness in bringing the public debt-to-GDP ratio down in the short term. In the medium run credible fiscal adjustments entail a decline in the public debt ratio, though at potentially very large output losses when carried out under unfavorable budgetary and economic conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriela Castro & José R. Maria & Paulo Júlio & Ricardo Mourinho Félix, 2015. "Unpleasant debt dynamics: Can fiscal consolidations raise debt ratios?," Working Papers w201501, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w201501
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vanda Almeida & Gabriela Castro & Ricardo Mourinho Félix & José R. Maria, 2013. "Fiscal Consolidation in a Small Euro-Area Economy," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(4), pages 1-38, December.
    2. Gabriela Lopes de Castro, 2006. "Consumption, Disposable Income and Liquidity Constraints," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    3. Vanda Almeida & Gabriela Castro & Ricardo Félix, 2010. "Improving competition in the non-tradable goods and labour markets: the Portuguese case," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 9(3), pages 163-193, December.
    4. Jacob Frenkel & Assaf Razin, 1996. "Fiscal Policies and Growth in the World Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262561042, March.
    5. Paulo Júlio & Ricardo Mourinho Félix & Gabriela Lopes de Castro & José R. Maria, 2015. "Financial Fragmentation Shocks," Working Papers w201508, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    6. Pier Carlo Padoan & Urban Sila & Paul van den Noord, 2012. "Avoiding Debt Traps: Financial Backstops and Structural Reforms," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 976, OECD Publishing.
    7. Jocelyn Boussard & Francisco de Castro & Matteo Salto, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers and Public Debt Dynamics in Consolidations," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 460, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    8. Salvador Barrios & Sven Langedijk & Lucio Pench, 2010. "EU fiscal consolidation after the financial crisis. Lessons from past experiences," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 418, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    9. Kilponen, Juha & Ripatti, Antti, 2006. "Labour and product market competition in a small open economy – Simulation results using a DGE model of the Finnish economy," Research Discussion Papers 5/2006, Bank of Finland.
    10. José Mata & António R. Antunes & Pedro Portugal, 2010. "Borrowing Patterns, Bankruptcy and Voluntary Liquidation," Working Papers w201027, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    11. Reda Cherif & Fuad Hasanov, 2018. "Public debt dynamics: the effects of austerity, inflation, and growth shocks," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 1087-1105, May.
    12. Coenen, Günter & McAdam, Peter & Straub, Roland, 2008. "Tax reform and labour-market performance in the euro area: A simulation-based analysis using the New Area-Wide Model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 2543-2583, August.
    13. Ricardo Mourinho Félix & Vanda Almeida, 2006. "Computing Potential Output and the Output Gap for the Portuguese Economy," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cassola, Nuno & Jorge, José, 2016. "The ECB's OMTs: A tale of governments, investors, and the central bank," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 94-116.
    2. Paulo Júlio & Ricardo Mourinho Félix & Gabriela Lopes de Castro & José R. Maria, 2015. "Financial Fragmentation Shocks," Working Papers w201508, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    3. Imre Ersoy & Talha Yanmaz, 2016. "The Impact of Austerity Measures on Government Borrowing in GIIPS," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 8(12), pages 106-112, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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