Economic Growth and Government Debt of Six Large National Economies before and after the 2008 Financial Crisis

Jean Loo, Haihong He


This paper investigates the causal relationship between economic growth and government debt of six large national economies ten years before and ten years after the 2008 financial crisis. There have been numerous studies on whether government debt has any negative effect on economic growth. The results of most empirical studies are mixed depending on the levels of government debt, the countries included in the sample, the sample periods chosen, and the methodologies employed. This paper focuses on six large national economies, namely, the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada during the periods ten years before and ten years after the most recent financial crisis of 2008. It is found that there are significant increases in the level of government debt and decreases in economic growth during the ten years after the financial crisis for all six countries. Our results show that the hypothesis that government debt does not Granger-cause economic growth is rejected for all six countries combined for the pre- financial crisis sub-period and the whole sample period, but not for the post financial crisis sub-period.  The hypothesis that economic growth does not Granger-cause government debt is also rejected for both the pre- and post- financial crisis sub-periods as well as for the whole period. In short, our investigation documented a bidirectional Granger causality between government debt and economic growth during periods ten years before, ten years after, and the combined periods before and after the 2008 financial crisis. The evidence also suggests that economic growth reduced government debt for most countries during all three sample periods.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Accounting and Finance Research

Accounting and Finance Research
ISSN 1927-5986 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5994 (Online) Email:

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.