The economics of the government budget constraint
Excessive budget deficits can lead to inflation, exchange crises, external debt crises, and high real interest rates - with implications for real exchange rate, the trade account, and investment. But the links are not automatic, for there are choices in the sources of financing - and lags in the effects of money printing and borrowing on inflation anad interest rates. Small deficits can be financed without creating excessive inflation, exchange rate crises, or an excess buildup of debt. Whether any particular path of fiscal policy is sustainable has to be checked through projections of the debt-to-GNP ratio. A given deficit is more likely to be sustainable the higher the growth rate of output. Theory and evidence both warn that large budget deficits pose real threats to macroeconomic stability and therfore to economic growth and development.
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