The Motives to Borrow

Author/Editor:

Antonio Fatás ; Atish R. Ghosh ; Ugo Panizza ; Andrea F Presbitero

Publication Date:

May 10, 2019

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Governments issue debt for good and bad reasons. While the good reasons—intertemporal tax-smoothing, fiscal stimulus, and asset management—can explain some of the increases in public debt in recent years, they cannot account for all of the observed changes. Bad reasons for borrowing are driven by political failures associated with intergenerational transfers, strategic manipulation, and common pool problems. These political failures are a major cause of overborrowing though budgetary institutions and fiscal rules can play a role in mitigating governments’ tendencies to overborrow. While it is difficult to establish a clear causal link from high public debt to low output growth, it is likely that some countries pay a price—in terms of lower growth and greater output volatility—for excessive debt accumulation.

Series:

Working Paper No. 19/101

English

Publication Date:

May 10, 2019

ISBN/ISSN:

9781498312103/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2019101

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

53

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