Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth Rogoff's: Debt and growth revisited
Synopsis (via Voxeu)
With the advanced economies at a critical juncture, some economists are urging more fiscal stimulus while others argue that raising debt levels will stunt growth. This column presents the Reinhart-Rogoff findings on the relationship between debt and growth based on data from 44 countries over 200 years with a focus on the debt-growth link during high-debt episodes.
Excerpted Conclusion (via Voxeu)
One need look no further than the stubbornly high unemployment rates in the US and other advanced economies to be convinced how important it is to develop a better understanding of the growth prospects for the decade ahead. We have presented evidence – in a multi-country sample spanning about two centuries – suggesting that high levels of debt dampen growth. One can argue that the US can tolerate higher levels of debt than other countries without having its solvency called into question. That is probably so.10 (see Reinhart and Reinhart 2007). We have shown in our earlier work that a country’s credit history plays a prominent role in determining what levels of debt it can sustain without landing on a sovereign debt crisis. More to the point of this paper, however, we have no comparable evidence yet to suggest that the consequences of higher debt levels for growth will be different for the US than for other advanced economies. It is an issue yet to be explored.