Fiscal Fatigue, Fiscal Space and Debt Sustainability in Advanced Economies
NBER Working Paper No. 16782
How high can public debt rise without compromising fiscal solvency? We answer this question using a stochastic ability-to-pay model of sovereign default in which risk-neutral investors lend to a government that displays “fiscal fatigue,” because its ability to increase primary balances cannot keep pace with rising debt. As a result, the government faces an endogenous debt limit beyond which debt cannot be rolled-over. Using data for 23 advanced economies over 1970–2007, we find evidence of a fiscal reaction function with these features, and use it to compute “fiscal space,” defined as the difference between projected debt ratios and debt limits.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16782
Published: Atish R. Ghosh & Jun I. Kim & Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan D. Ostry & Mahvash S. Qureshi, 2013. "Fiscal Fatigue, Fiscal Space and Debt Sustainability in Advanced Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages F4-F30, 02.
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