OECD Journal: Economic Studies

Frequency :
Annual
ISSN :
1995-2856 (online)
ISSN :
1995-2848 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/19952856
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OECD Journal: Economic Studies publishes articles in the area of economic policy analysis, applied economics and statistical analysis, generally with an international or cross-country dimension. While it draws significantly on economic papers produced by the Economics Department and other parts of the OECD Secretariat for the Organisation’s intergovernmental committees, the submission of articles produced by non-OECD authors is encouraged. We also welcome comments on articles previously published in the journal. Now published as part of the OECD Journal package.

Article
 

Avoiding debt traps

Fiscal consolidation, financial backstops and structural reforms You do not have access to this content

 
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Author(s):
Pier Carlo Padoan, Urban Sila, Paul van den Noord
Publication Date
04 Jan 2013
Pages
8
Bibliographic information
No.:
8,
Volume:
2012,
Issue:
1
Pages
151–177
DOI
10.1787/eco_studies-2012-5k8xbnjbn9hl

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In this article we develop a simple and stylised analytical framework, which is both tractable and feasible to estimate, capturing several key dimensions of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. We use it to examine if and how a combination of fiscal consolidation, structural reform and financial backstops can help countries, notably the southern euro-area countries, to escape from the debt trap. Our analysis confirms that the loss of fiscal policy space in countries trapped in bad dynamics inevitably requires that fiscal action be directed towards consolidation despite some output loss in the short run. In particular, reducing debt levels breeds stronger growth and results in lower sovereign risk premia. We identify also a very important role for structural reform to help countries escape from bad dynamics. Last but not least, we find that financial backstops are helpful, but only to "buy time". This additional time must be used productively, for fiscal consolidation and structural reforms to bear fruit as well as to make progress with institutional reforms of the European monetary union.