The Role of Government Debt in Economic Growth
ISEG-UTL Economics Department Working Paper No. 16/2014/DE/UECE
45 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 2, 2014
We study the effect of public debt on economic growth for annual and 5-year average growth rates, as well as the existence of non-linearity effects of debt on growth for 14 European countries from 1970 until 2012. We also consider debt-to-GDP ratio interactions with monetary, public finance, institutional and macroeconomic variables. Our results show a negative impact of -0.01% for each 1% increment of public debt, although debt service has a 10 times worse effect on growth. In addition, we find average debt ratio thresholds of around 75%. Belonging to the Eurozone has a detrimental effect of at least -0.5% for real per capita GDP, and the banking crisis is the most harmful crisis for growth.
Keywords: government debt, economic growth, thresholds
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