nep-fdg New Economics Papers
on Financial Development and Growth
Issue of 2015‒04‒25
six papers chosen by
Iulia Igescu
Ministry of Presidential Affairs

  1. Government Debt and Economic Growth: Estimating the Debt Thresholds and Debt Intolerance By Swamy, Vighneswara
  2. The Dynamics of Government Debt and Economic Growth By Swamy, Vighneswara
  3. Optimal Fiscal Policy By Jasper Lukkezen; Coen Teulings
  4. Bank Deregulation, Competition and Economic Growth: The US Free Banking Experience By Philipp Ager; Fabrizio Spargoli
  5. Structural Change and Transformation of Growth Regime in the Japanese Economy By Hiroshi Nishi
  6. Mathematical modeling of physical capital using the spatial Solow model By Gilberto Gonz\'alez-Parra; Benito Chen-Charpentier; Abraham J. Arenas; Miguel Diaz-Rodriguez

  1. By: Swamy, Vighneswara
    Abstract: The surge of government debt during the post-global financial crisis and the ongoing euro zone sovereign debt crisis has begun raising concerns whether government debt levels have hit the tipping points. This study offers to contribute in the following ways: First, we find out whether the relationship between government debt and real GDP growth is weak for debt/GDP ratios below 90%. Second, we estimate different thresholds for groups of economies based on their debt regimes, political economy structures and types of political governance, geographical considerations, and income levels. Third, we find out whether there is a declining negative effect beyond the debt threshold. Our results find the debt thresholds to vary in the range of 84 to 114 percent of GDP. We estimate that every additional 10 percent rise in debt-to-GDP ratio beyond the debt threshold costs 10 to 30 basis points of annual average real GDP growth. We find that different groups of countries experience debt threshold at different levels. Debt thresholds are dependent not necessarily on economic factors alone, but on other factors such as political economies and governance structures, geographies etc. Debt thresholds are sensitive to horizon of analysis.
    Keywords: Government Debt, economic growth, debt thresholds, panel data, nonlinearity, country groupings
    JEL: C33 C36 E62 H63 O40 O50
    Date: 2015–04–16
  2. By: Swamy, Vighneswara
    Abstract: The dynamics of government debt and economic growth, once a subject of interest mostly to very few macroeconomists is suddenly of immense attention for many researchers in the backdrop of Euro zone sovereign debt crisis and Reinhart & Rogoff’s related research. This study investigates the government debt – growth relationship and contributes to literature in the following ways: First, we extend the horizon of analysis to several country groupings and make the study inclusive of economic, political and regional diversities based on a sizeable dataset. Second, we provide evidence for the presence of a causal link going from debt to growth with the use of ‘instrumental variables approach’ unlike the RR approach. Third, we overcome the issues related to data adequacy, coverage of countries, heterogeneity, endogeneity, and non-linearities by conducting a battery of robustness tests. We find that a 10-percentage point increase in the debt-to-GDP ratio is associated with 2 to 23 basis point reduction in average growth. Our results establish the nonlinear relationship between debt and growth.
    Keywords: Government Debt, economic growth, panel data, nonlinearity, country groupings
    JEL: C33 C36 E62 H63 O40 O5
    Date: 2015–04–16
  3. By: Jasper Lukkezen (Utrecht University, and CPB); Coen Teulings (University of Amsterdam, and CPB)
    Abstract: This paper derives and estimates rules for fiscal policy that prescribe the optimal response to changes in unemployment and debt. We combine the reduced form model of the economy from a linear VAR with a non-linear welfare function and obtain analytic solutions for optimal policy. The variables in our reduced form model –growth, unemployment, primary surplus– have a natural rate that cannot be affected by policy. Policy can only reduce fluctuations around these natural rates. Our welfare function contains future GDP and unemployment, the relative weights of which determine the optimal response. The optimal policy rule demands an immediate and large policy response that is procyclical to growth shocks and countercyclical to unemployment shocks. This result holds true when the weight of unemployment in the welfare function is reduced to zero. The rule currently followed by policy makers responds procyclically to both growth and unemployment shocks, and does so much slower than the optimal rule, leading to significant welfare losses.
    Keywords: optimal control, optimal policy, fiscal policy rules, fiscal consolidation, debt sustainability
    JEL: E6 H6
    Date: 2013–05–06
  4. By: Philipp Ager (University of Southern Denmark, Odense); Fabrizio Spargoli (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: We exploit the introduction of free banking laws in US states during the 1837-1863 period to examine the impact of removing barriers to bank entry on bank competition and economic growth. As governments were not concerned about systemic stability in this period, we are able to isolate the effects of bank competition from those of state implicit guarantees. We find that the introduction of free banking laws stimulated the creation of new banks and led to more bank failures. Our empirical evidence indicates that states adopting free banking laws experienced an increase in output per capita compared to the states that retained state bank chartering policies. We argue that the fiercer bank competition following the introduction of free banking laws might have spurred economic growth by (1) increasing the money stock and the availability of credit; (2) leading to efficiency gains in the banking market. Our findings suggest that the more frequent bank failures occurring in a competitive banking market do not harm long-run economic growth in a system without public safety nets.
    Keywords: Bank Deregulation, Bank Competition, Economic Growth, Financial Development, Dynamic Efficiency, Free Banking
    JEL: G18 G21 G28 N21
    Date: 2013–12–20
  5. By: Hiroshi Nishi
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to empirically examine the relationship between structural change and economic growth in Japan during the past 40 years. While using the growth in real value added and labour productivity as measurement of economic growth, we consider the structural change in value added as the structural change in output and that in capital and labour as the structural change in inputs. Specifically, we use the Japan Industrial Productivity database 2014 compiled by the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry, and show (1) the pace of structural change in inputs and output, (2) the evolution of sectoral dispersion of economic growth, (3) the changing distribution of sectoral contribution to aggregate economic growth, and (4) empirical evidence of the relationship between structural change and economic growth. Our main conclusion is that the Japanese growth regime has transformed from a heterogeneity decreased regime with overall growth process to a heterogeneity increased one with uneven growth process since the 1990s; the impact that structural change in output had on economic growth was positive, although its magnitude has weakened since then.
    Keywords: wage gap; Growth regime, Sectoral heterogeneity, Structural change, Japanese economy
    JEL: B50 E12 L16 O41
    Date: 2015–04
  6. By: Gilberto Gonz\'alez-Parra; Benito Chen-Charpentier; Abraham J. Arenas; Miguel Diaz-Rodriguez
    Abstract: This research deals with the mathematical modeling of the physical capital diffusion through the borders of the countries. The physical capital is considered an important variable for the economic growth of a country. Here we use an extension of the economic Solow model to describe how the smuggling affects the economic growth of the countries. In this study we rely on a production function that is non-concave instead of the classical Cobb-Douglas production function. In order to model the physical capital diffusion through the borders of the country, we developed a model based on a parabolic partial differential equation that describes the dynamics of physical capital and boundary conditions of Neumann type. Smuggling is present in many borders between countries and may include fuel, machinery and food. This smuggling through the borders is a problematic issue for the country's economies. The smuggling problem usually is related mainly to a non-official exchange rate that is different than the official rate or subsides. Numerical simulations are obtained using an explicit finite difference scheme that shows how the physical capital diffusion through the border of the countries. The study of physical capital is a paramount issue for the economic growth of many countries for the next years. The results show that the dynamics of the physical capital when boundary conditions of Neumann type are different than zero differ from the classical economic behavior observed in the classical spatial Solow model without physical capital flux through the borders of countries. Finally, it can be concluded that avoiding the smuggling through the frontiers is an important factor that affects the economic growth of the countries.
    Date: 2015–04

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