New York Fed Research Library
Public debt has a long history, both here and abroad. Now, you can watch how it has developed over time in Back to the Future: a History of Global Debt, from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The video features an animated graph of the ratios of public debt to output (gross domestic product or GDP) for three categories of countries (advanced countries, emerging countries, and low-income countries) from 1880 to 2009. The graph is based on a new IMF data that track the relationship between countries’ public debt and GDP over time. See this working paper for a description of the database and how it was created.
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