Public Debt Dynamics Under Uncertainty (DDUx)

This online course provides an overview of how to assess public debt dynamics under uncertainty.


SDG8: Decent work and economic growth
SDG17: Partnerships for the goals
SDG 17: Finance
Public debt
fiscal policy
public debt

This online course, presented jointly by the Institute for Capacity Development and the Fiscal Affairs Department, provides an overview of how to assess public debt dynamics under uncertainty. The course discusses how to think about public debt projections when we acknowledge uncertainty about the key variables underlying debt projections (GDP growth, interest and exchange rates, and primary balances).This one-module course will allow you to produce and interpret fan charts (graphical tools used to describe uncertainty about the evolution of a variable over time). The course will also present the concepts of maximum debt limit (level of debt  beyond which there could be significant negative consequences for the economy) and safe debt (a level of debt sufficiently below the debt limit to provide a comfortable and prudent buffer). The course explains how to use fan charts to derive a safe level of debt and how to assess fiscal risks.

Target Audience

All government officials are welcome to register. This course is particularly useful for officials from ministries of finance, debt agencies, central banks, and other government agencies responsible for providing advice or implementing macroeconomic and debt policies.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain what a fan chart of debt is.
  • Interpret a fan chart to identify risks to public debt dynamics.
  • Understand how to produce fan charts through simple Monte Carlo simulations.
  • Understand how to produce fan charts using VAR models and fiscal reaction functions.
  • Understand the concept of safe debt and maximum debt limit.
  • Evaluate debt dynamics under uncertainty.