Global Public Debt Since 1995: Long-Term Trends, Current Phase, Medium-Term Outlook for Economic Growth // Journal of Economics, Finance and Management Studies. 2023. Vol. 06, Issue 04. P. 1392-1401. DOI 10.47191/jefms/v6-i4-01.
Topic. The paper aims to identify long-term trends in global public debt (since 1995), provide its current overview (the magnitude of debt, concentration levels among participants and instruments, risk factors in the current phase of debt accumulation) and estimate its impact on global economic development over the medium term. This analysis has significant scientific and practical relevance due to the unprecedented character of factors affecting global level of indebtedness in the past few years (the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020 and the biggest military conflict in Europe since the Second World War since 2022).
Methods. The main sources for the research were reports, outlooks and data bases of national regulators and international organizations (International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Bank for International Settlements, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) concerning public debt, research in this field conducted by leading research centers and financial market participants.
Results. Two major periods in global debt development over time are shown: 1995 – 2007-08 with stable relative global public debt level, and since 2008 – rising levels of public debt. High levels of concentration in the global debt market and even in higher degree the government securities market are analyzed. These markets are characterized by the highly uneven distribution of debt among advanced and developing economies, state and local governments (central governments are main borrowers), instruments (predominantly global debt is issued through bonds nominated in domestic currencies with a straight fix rate). Risk factors in the current (since 2010) wave of global debt accumulation are described: 1. the magnitude of accumulated debt, its higher rate of growth and distribution among countries; 2. debt accumulation during a prolonged period of weak economic growth and investment activity in the 2010s; 3. the consequences of Covid pandemic and the military conflict in Ukraine. Economic repercussions of a high level of the country’s indebtedness, including its threshold level, are shown. Many key participants of the global public debt market (especially advanced economies) are exposed beyond such threshold. Policy tools for reducing public debt are listed. Preliminary estimates of the medium-term impact of the global debt market conjuncture on global economic development are given. The existence of self-amplifying risks of global stagflation and public debt crisis is revealed.
Discussion. The impact of extraordinary factors affecting economic development in the world from 2020 on the global public debt market requires further research.
Keywords: global public debt | government securities | debt accumulation | Covid-19 pandemic | Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine | debt threshold | financial repression | ultra-accommodative monetary policy | inflation | stagflation |
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