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A Meta-Analysis on the Debt-Growth Relationship

D'Andrea, Sara (2022): A Meta-Analysis on the Debt-Growth Relationship.

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Abstract

We perform a meta-analysis on the relationship between public (government and external) debt and economic growth, coding 422 observations from 32 studies estimating cross-sectional or panel regressions. The average estimated effect size turns out to be negative (around -0.2). Heterogeneity is substantial and influenced mainly by within-studies variability. The moderators that allow to slightly mitigate it and that influence the estimate of the effect size concern the publication status, the journal ranking, the variables used as proxies, the level of wealth and development of the countries considered, the sample size, the region, and the estimation method. Publication bias arises, both as regards the direction of the estimated effect size, and the statistical significance of the results presented.

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