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Debt sustainability in historical perspective: The role of fiscal repression
Voth, Joachim; Drelichman, Mauricio
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
This article examines the debt history of two contenders for European hegemony: 16th-centurySpain and 18th-century Britain. We analyze their fiscal behavior using measures of overborrowingand fiscal policy functions. Our results suggest that stringency was not key for Britain ssuccess in avoiding default. Instead, fiscal repression allowed the United Kingdom to borrowat below-market rates, thereby outspending its continental rivals.
Economic and Business History
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