This study empirically investigates the relationship between economic growth and several factors (investment, private and government consumption, trade openness, population growth and government debt) in Greece, where imbalances persist several years after the financial crisis. The results reveal a long-run relationship between variables. Investment as private and government consumption and trade openness affect positively growth. On the other hand, there is a negative long-run effect of government debt and population growth on growth. Furthermore, the study addresses the issue of break effects between government debt and economic growth. The results indicate that the relationship between debt and growth depends on the debt breaks. Specifically, at debt levels before 2000, increases in the government debt-to-GDP ratio are associated with insignificant effects on economic growth. However, as government debt rises after 2000, the effect on economic growth diminishes rapidly and the growth impacts become negative. The challenge for policy makers in Greece is to halt the rising of government debt by keeping a sustainable growth path. Fiscal discipline should be combined with the implementation of coherent, consistent and sequential growth-enhancing structural reforms.
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