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Australian Evidence on Tax Smoothing and the Optimal Budget Surplus

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  • Olekalns, Nilss

Abstract

This paper tests a version of R. J. Barro's tax smoothing hypothesis using Australian data for the period 1964-65 to 1994-95. The model assumes intertemporal optimization by a government seeking to minimize the distortionary effects of tax collection. The model predicts that the budget surplus is stationary even if government expenditure and tax collections are nonstationary. In addition, the surplus should be a linear function of expected future changes to government expenditure. The results indicate that Australian fiscal policy has been too volatile to be consistent with optimal tax smoothing. Copyright 1997 by The Economic Society of Australia.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The Economic Society of Australia in its journal The Economic Record.

Volume (Year): 73 (1997)
Issue (Month): 222 (September)
Pages: 248-57

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:73:y:1997:i:222:p:248-57

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  1. Sheffrin, S.M. & Woo, W.T., 1989. "Present Value Tests Of An Intertemporal Model Of The Current Account," Papers 61, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  2. de Bartolome, Charles A. M., 1995. "Which tax rate do people use: Average or marginal?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 79-96, January.
  3. Campbell, John Y, 1987. "Does Saving Anticipate Declining Labor Income? An Alternative Test of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1249-73, November.
  4. Geweke, John F & Meese, Richard, 1981. "Estimating Regression Models of Finite but Unknown Order," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(1), pages 55-70, February.
  5. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  6. Ghosh, Atish R, 1995. "Intertemporal Tax-Smoothing and the Government Budget Surplus: Canada and the United States," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1033-45, November.
  7. Ghosh, Atish R, 1995. "International Capital Mobility amongst the Major Industrialised Countries: Too Little or Too Much?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 107-28, January.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
  9. Huang, Chao-Hsi & Lin, Kenneth S., 1993. "Deficits, government expenditures, and tax smoothing in the United States: 1929-1988," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 317-339, June.
  10. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  11. Otto, Glenn, 1992. "Testing a present-value model of the current account: Evidence from US and Canadian time series," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 414-430, October.
  12. Kingston, Geoffrey H & Layton, Allan P, 1986. "The Tax Smoothing Hypothesis: Some Australian Empirical Results," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(47), pages 247-51, December.
  13. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Ananda Jayawickrama & Tilak Abeysinghe, 2013. "The experience of some OECD economies on tax smoothing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(16), pages 2305-2313, June.
  2. Yulei Luo & Jun Nie & Eric R. Young, 2012. "Model uncertainty and intertemporal tax smoothing," Research Working Paper RWP 12-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  3. Adler, Johan, 2003. "Has Sweden’s government budget policy been too discretionary? Evidence from a generalization of the tax smoothing hypothesis," Working Papers in Economics 89, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  4. Abeysinghe, Tilak & Jayawickrama, Ananda, 2008. "Singapore's recurrent budget surplus: The role of conservative growth forecasts," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 117-124, April.
  5. Roberto Pasten & James P. Cover, 2010. "The Political Economy of Unsustainable Fiscal Deficits," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 47(136), pages 169-189.
  6. Cashin, P. & Haque, N. & Olekalns, N., 1999. "Spend Now, Pay Later? Tax Smoothing & Fiscal Sustainability in South Asia," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 700, The University of Melbourne.
  7. R. Pasten & J. P. Cover, 2011. "Does the Chilean government smooth taxes? A tax-smoothing model with revenue collection from a natural resource," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(5), pages 421-425.
  8. Johan Adler, 2006. "The Tax-smoothing Hypothesis: Evidence from Sweden, 1952-1999," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 81-95, 03.
  9. Cashin, Paul & Ul Haque, Nadeem & Olekalns, Nilss, 2003. "Tax smoothing, tax tilting and fiscal sustainability in Pakistan," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 47-67, January.
  10. Gerhard Reitschuler, 2010. "Fiscal Policy And Optimal Taxation: Evidence From A Tax Smoothing Exercise," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(2), pages 238-252, 05.
  11. Tilak Abeysinghe & Ananda Jayawickrama, 2007. "Singaporeã¢Â‚¬Â„¢S Recurrent Budget Surplus The Role Of Conservative Growth Forecasts," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22557, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

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