‘Austerity measures in Europe are due to an Excel error’

Published on 18 April 2013 at 09:58


One of the academic papers supporting the austerity policies is being questioned after several mistakes were found in its Excel calculations, writes i.

Presented in 2010 by Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, the study “Growth in a time of debt” claims that countries with debt ratios above 90 per cent of GDP suffer a yearly 0.1 per cent contraction in their economies.

The Lisbon daily recalls that Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman considers this paper one of the pillars of the “intellectual building of the austerity economy.” Now, another team of economists found out that countries with the quoted debt ratio grew 2.2 per cent, only 1 per cent less than nations with lower debt ratios.

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The mistake? Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, and Denmark had been accidentally excluded from a sum in their Excel spreadsheet.

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