An Empirical Study on Public Debt's Determinants: Evidence from Romania

Marilen Gabriel PIRTEA, Ana Cristina NICOLESCU, Paulo R. MOTA


The need for coordinating economic and budgetary policies in the Economic and Monetary Union, the awareness that pile of high public debt threatens future generations, increasing tax burden on a globalized market and the impact of population aging process on public finances has led to controversial opinions. Continuously borrowing resources and maintaining them consistently over time means to have a sustainable public debt, an important objective of any state fiscal policy. A sustainable public debt is the result of trade and monetary policy and budgetary decisions. The national debt is at the center of the current crisis of the Peripheral European countries. The objective of the paper is to provide a better understanding of public debt dynamics in Romania in the period 2000 to 2011. We decompose the changes in public debt to GDP ratio into macroeconomic components attributable to primary fiscal deficits, real interest rate, real GDP growth, and to the variations on foreign currency denominated debt. The research findings suggest that the reaction of the public debt to GDP ratio to the real growth rate of the output increased after the financial crisis. The real interest rate on government bonds remained a significant determinant of public debt in the entire sample period. Also, we find little effectiveness of monetary policy as an automatic stabilizer through the entire sample period.


public debt; sustainability; determinants; model.

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