The contents of this working paper are expected to be included in the forthcoming book: S. Ali Abbas, Alex Pienkowski, and Kenneth Rogoff (eds), Sovereign Debt: A Guide for Economists and Practitioners, Oxford University Press.
“A Historical Public Debt Database,” IMF Working Paper 10/245, also published as “Historical Patterns and Dynamics of Public Debt—Evidence From a New Database,” IMF Economic Review, Volume 59, Issue 4.
“The Global Debt Database: Methodology and Sources,” IMF Working Paper 18/111. For the data, see https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WP/Issues/2018/05/14/Global-Debt-Database-Methodology-and-Sources-45838. The GDD aims to address several shortcomings of previous databases. First, it takes a fundamentally new approach to compiling historical data. The GDD adopts a multidimensional approach by offering multiple debt series with different coverages, thus ensuring greater consistency across time. Second, it more than doubles the cross-sectional dimension of existing private debt datasets. Finally, the integrity of the data has been checked through bilateral consultations with officials and IMF country desks of all countries in the sample.
“This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises,” NBER Working Paper 13882; and “The Forgotten History of Domestic Debt,” NBER Working Paper No. 13946.
“The Role of Domestic Debt Markets in Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation for Low-Income
Countries and Emerging Markets,” IMF Working Paper 07/127.
“Debt Intolerance,” NBER Working Paper No. 9908.
One explanation that is sometime presented is that, until the 1980s/1990s, many countries did not have modern debt management offices that would collect all debt data; and that these functions remained segregated in different parts of the finance ministries/central banks. However, this cannot fully explain why total public debt coverage was relatively good in the inter-war period, the lack of incentive to institute dedicated debt management offices till the 1980s, or why international financial institutions did not put greater priority on catalyzing the collection of historical domestic debt data.
“Official Creditor Seniority and Burden Sharing in the Former Soviet Bloc,” Brookings Papers in Economic Activity 1.
“Sovereign Debt Composition in Advance Economies: A Historical Perspective,” IMF Working Paper 14/162.
“A Modern History of Fiscal Prudence and Profligacy,” IMF Working Paper No. 13/5, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC.
To be able to analyze and balance the competing considerations of larger sample and comparability, and to appropriately qualify their conclusions, researchers may find useful the international methodological standards on compiling public sector debt (e.g., the IMF’s Public Sector Debt Statistics Guide for Compilers and Users, 2013 and Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014).
Also published as “Historical Patterns and Dynamics of Public Debt—Evidence From a New Database,” IMF Economic Review Volume 59, Issue 4.