There has been plenty of commentary over the past day or so on insights into the statistical work undertaken by Reinhart and Rogoff in their paper on growth and debt published in the Papers and Proceedings of the 2010 AEA Annual Meeting.
Their conclusions on public debt are represented in this chart (below the fold) from the paper, with the subsequent emphasis put on the (slightly) negative average growth rate for countries with a Debt/GDP over 90%.
Herndon, Ash and Pollin offer a critique in this paper and here is their representation of the same chart. In their version the average growth rate for countries with a debt/GDP over 90% is put at 2.2%.
The reasons for the differences are outlined in this post with further links and the full text of the reply from Reinhart and Rogoff on FTAlphaville here. The reply leans heavily on their 2012 paper (with Vincent Reinhart) from the JEP.
Reinhart and Rogoff have issued a more detailed second reply. This admits to the Excel error and includes a table combining figures from the three papers.
This comment by Krugman is right:
It’s important to make a distinction between the R-R book “This time is different” and the paper. The paper got undeserved credibility from the book; now the book may be devalued by the paper. But they’re quite different.