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Financial Stress and the Impact of Public Debt on UK Growth in High versus Low-Growth Regimes: 1850-2013

  • Costas Milas

    ()

    (University of Liverpool, UK; Rimini Centre of Economic Analysis, Italy)

Using a long historical dataset, we estimate a Threshold Vector Autoregression (T-VAR) model for the UK based on a financial stress measure, the debt-to-GDP ratio, borrowing costs and real GDP growth. Our model allows for the impact of debt/GDP to vary between periods of high and low economic growth. We find that financial stress depresses growth much more in the low as opposed to the high-growth regime. We also find that positive shocks to debt/GDP depress economic growth and raise borrowing costs; again, the impact is much stronger when growth is low. This is an important finding as economists and policy-makers are currently debating whether it makes sense to proceed swiftly with fiscal consolidation when economic conditions remain weak.

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Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 13_14.

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Date of creation: Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:13_14
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  1. Cevik, Emrah Ismail & Dibooglu, Sel & Kutan, Ali M., 2013. "Measuring financial stress in transition economies," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 597-611.
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  9. Bruneau, C. & de Bandt, O. & El Amri, W., 2012. "Macroeconomic fluctuations and corporate financial fragility," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 219-235.
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    • Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2003. "The Band Pass Filter," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 435-465, 05.
  13. Thomas Herndon & Michael Ash & Robert Pollin, 2013. "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogo ff," Working Papers wp322, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  14. Cardarelli, Roberto & Elekdag, Selim & Lall, Subir, 2011. "Financial stress and economic contractions," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 78-97, June.
  15. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973, March.
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