The Brookings Institution sponsors a wide range of work on the global economy, and this recent paper and analysis by Eswar Prasad and Mengjie Ding looks at the rising burden of government debt across the world. Released in November 2010, the piece uses international financial data and national GDP figures to look at the increase in government indebtedness from 2007 to 2010. During this period, the ratio of world debt to world GDP rose from 44 percent to 59 percent, and it is estimated that this ratio will reach 65 percent in 2015. So-called "advanced economies" (AEs) account for the bulk of the increase in global public debt since the start of this recent economic crisis and downturn. In the calculations of the two authors, things may get worse before they get better, as they note that "AEs as a group are experiencing little population growth. Second they are facing rapidly aging populations. Third their economies are likely to register slow growth'fourth, entitlement spending on health care and pensions is likely to explode due to unfavorable demographics." Visitors can read the entire article here, and also look at the associated tables and illustrative figures.
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