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I am an student who does some research on sustainability of public debt.

Which papers are essential to understand what determines the sustainable debt threshold, and the sustainable level of public debt?

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  • $\begingroup$ This question is interesting, but it is phrased in such a way that there are a few ways of writing an answer. I may take a stab at it later, but I want to give some high level guidance. This could be viewed as an empirical question: when do countries default? The answer depends upon the circumstances of the country (fixed vs. floating, borrowing in foreign currency). Alternatively, it could be what does theory suggest. One could point to multiple competing theories. Editing the question to narrow the scope will make finding an answer easier. $\endgroup$ – Brian Romanchuk Jun 13 '17 at 20:32
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A big debate started after a flaw had been found in the conference paper "Growth in a Time of Debt" by Reinhart and Rogoff. There are several replications and many articles in the media and blog posts. Reinhart and Rogoff have the book "This Time is Different" on the topic and several well published articles, cf. here. Research on the topic continues to be published in top journals, e.g. "Is There a Debt-Threshold Effect on Output Growth?", Review of Economics and Statistics 99:1, March 2017. You should look at the references and also at which papers have cited the ones you find important.

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These books might be of help:

Also, this chapter from the Handbook of Macroeconomics, Volume 2 (2016) might be of help:

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