Deflation and Public Finances : Evidence from the Historical Records

Author/Editor:

Nicolas End ; Sampawende J Tapsoba ; G. Terrier ; Renaud Duplay

Publication Date:

July 28, 2015

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

This paper examines the impact of deflation on fiscal aggregates. With deflation relatively rare in modern history, it relies mostly on the historical records, using a dataset panel covering 150 years and 21 advanced economies. Empirical evidence shows that deflation affects public finances mostly through increases in public debt ratios, reflecting a worsening in interest rate–growth differentials. On average, a mild rate of deflation increases public debt ratios by almost 2 percent of GDP a year, this impact being larger during recessionary deflations. Using a simulation model that accounts for composition effects and price expectations, we also find that, for European countries, a 2 percentage point deflationary shock in both 2015 and 2016 would lead to a deterioration in the primary balance of as much as 1 percent of GDP by 2019.

Series:

Working Paper No. 15/176

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

July 28, 2015

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513528243/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2015176

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

41

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