Empirical Economic Bulletin, An Undergraduate Journal


Italy’s public debt has seen large increases over the past few years, and as a result they were bailed out by other European Union members. Either their large trade deficits, inability to stimulate growth, or lack of tax revenues are all reason why Italy has fallen to such crisis. Other countries in the EU such as Portugal, Spain, and Greece have had similar debt problems and received a bailout as well. This paper will attempt to explain the relationship between the public debt to GDP ratio and some macroeconomic conditions using panel data from 1990 to 2010 for the countries Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. It will also compare and contrast the differing reasons as to why each country has faced these economic hardships.