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The quest for a fiscal rule: Italy, 1861–1998

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  • Roberto Ricciuti

    ()
    (Dipartimento di Studi sullo Stato, University of Florence, Via delle Pandette, 21-50127 Firenze, Italy & CESifo, Munich, Germany & Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, EUI, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy)

Abstract

The Italian fiscal history is characterised by a number of fiscal consolidations. In this study, we characterise fiscal policy in terms of non-linear deterministic processes. We find that government spending and taxes can be described as being non-linear trend stationary processes instead of unit roots. A long run equilibrium relationship—a non-linear co-trend—does exist between the two series, fulfilling the intertemporal government budget constraint. We interpret this result as evidence of a long run fiscal rule that different policy makers have adopted, putting public finance in balance.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its journal Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.

Volume (Year): 2 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 259-274

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Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:2:y:2008:i:3:p:259-274

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Keywords: Intertemporal government budget constraint; Non-linear trend stationarity; Non-linear co-trending;

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  1. Bierens, Herman J., 1997. "Testing the unit root with drift hypothesis against nonlinear trend stationarity, with an application to the US price level and interest rate," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 29-64, November.
  2. McCallum, Bennett T, 1984. "Are Bond-Financed Deficits Inflationary? A Ricardian Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 123-35, February.
  3. Martin, G.M., 1998. "U.S. Deficit Sustainability: A New Approach Based on Multiple Endogenous Breaks," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 1/98, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  4. Carl E. Walsh & Bharat Trehan, 1988. "Seigniorage and tax smoothing in the United States: 1914-1986," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 88-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Michael P. Clements & David F. Hendry, 2001. "Forecasting Non-Stationary Economic Time Series," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262531895, December.
  6. Robert J. Barro, 1986. "The Behavior of United States Deficits," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 361-394 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hakkio, Craig S & Rush, Mark, 1991. "Is the Budget Deficit "Too Large?"," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 429-45, July.
  8. Bierens, H.J., 1996. "Nonparametric Nonlinear Cotrending Analysis, with an Application to Interest and Inflation in the U.S," Discussion Paper 1996-62, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Quintos, Carmela E, 1995. "Sustainability of the Deficit Process with Structural Shifts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(4), pages 409-17, October.
  10. Haug, Alfred A, 1995. "Has Federal Budget Deficit Policy Changed in Recent Years?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(1), pages 104-18, January.
  11. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
  12. Cushman David O., 2002. "Nonlinear Trends and Co-trending in Canadian Money Demand," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-29, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Piergallini, Alessandro & Postigliola, Michele, 2013. "Non-linear budgetary policies: Evidence from 150 years of Italian public finance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 495-498.
  2. Cushman, David O. & Michael, Nils, 2011. "Nonlinear trends in real exchange rates: A panel unit root test approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1619-1637.

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