Interest-Growth Differentials and Debt Limits in Advanced Economies
No 18/82, IMF Working Papers from International Monetary Fund
Do persistently low nominal interest rates mean that governments can safely borrow more? To addresses this question, I extend the model of Ghosh et al.  to allow for persistent stochastic changes in nominal interest and growth rates. The key model parameter is the long-run difference between nominal interest and growth rates; if negative, maximum sustainable debts (debt limits) are unbounded. I show how both VAR- and spectral-based methods produce negative point estimates of this long-run differential, but cannot reject positive values at standard significance levels. I calibrate the model to the UK using positive but statistically plausible average interest-growth differentials. This produces debt limits which increase by only around 5% GDP as interest rates fall after 2008. In contrast, only a tiny change in the long-run average interest-growth differential – from the 95th to the 97.5th percentile of the distribution – is required to move average debt limits by the same amount.
Keywords: Interest rates; Fiscal policy; Government debt; Fiscal policy, Government Debt, Uncertainty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:imf:imfwpa:18/82
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IMF Working Papers from International Monetary Fund International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC USA. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Jim Beardow ().