The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Is there any systematic explanation of variations in the cost of debt servicing over time and across countries? This paper examines the influence of fiscal variables on borrowing costs in a panel of OECD countries, showing that these variables have a significant role. In particular, an improvement of the primary fiscal balance is associated with a significant reduction in debt-servicing costs, amplifying the effects of primary adjustment on the fiscal position. A significant country-specific component remains, however; several explanations for this component are discussed, including debt management and market infrastructure.