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Sustainability of Portuguese Fiscal Policy in Historical Perspective

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  • Carlos Fonseca Marinheiro

Abstract

This paper analyses the sustainability of Portuguese public finances, making use of a long dataset with more than a full century of observations. The use of such a long dataset is appropriate because both unit root and cointegration tests require a long period of data. The sustainability testing procedure is based on unit root and cointegration tests. We find considerable evidence in favour of sustainability for the 1903-2003 period. The overall conclusion of sustainability for the 1903-2003 period is not maintained for the more recent 1975-2003 period, which is characterised by the largest GDP deficit ratios of our sample. This latter period appears to signal a shift to an unsustainable path in Portuguese fiscal policy. Hence, our results suggest that fiscal consolidation efforts must, in fact, be continued in Portugal.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1399.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1399

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Keywords: fiscal sustainability; sustainability of public debt; intertemporal budget constraint; government deficits and debt; Portugal;

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References

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  1. Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Gregory, A.W. & Hansen, B.E., 1992. "Residual-Based Tests for Cointegration in Models with Regime Shifts," RCER Working Papers 335, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Bohn, H., 1991. "Budget Balance Through Revenue or Spending Adjustments? Some Historical Evidence for the United States," Weiss Center Working Papers 3-91, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  4. Bharat Trehan & Carl E. Walsh, 1988. "Testing intertemporal budget constraints: theory and applications to U. S. federal budget and current account deficits," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 88-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. 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.
  6. Henning Bohn, 2005. "The Sustainability of Fiscal Policy in the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 1446, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Phillips, P.C.B., 1986. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series Regression," Cahiers de recherche 8633, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  8. James D. Hamilton & Marjorie A. Flavin, 1985. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for Empirical Testing," NBER Working Papers 1632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Henning Bohn, . "Budget Balance Through Revenue or Spending Adjustments ? Some Historical Evidence for the United States (Reprint 013)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-91, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  11. Peter Reinhard Hansen, 2000. "Structural Changes in the Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Model," Working Papers 2000-20, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  12. Nigel Andrew Chalk & Richard Hemming, 2000. "Assessing Fiscal Sustainability in Theory and Practice," IMF Working Papers 00/81, International Monetary Fund.
  13. John T . Addison & Paulino Teixeira, 2001. "Technology, Employment and Wages," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 15(2), pages 191-219, 06.
  14. Esteves, Rui Pedro, 2003. "Looking ahead from the past: The inter-temporal sustainability of Portuguese finances, 1854 1910," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 239-266, August.
  15. 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.
  16. Bravo, Ana Bela Santos & Silvestre, Antonio Luis, 2002. "Intertemporal sustainability of fiscal policies: some tests for European countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 517-528, September.
  17. António Afonso, 2000. "Fiscal policy sustainability: some unpleasant European evidence," Working Papers Department of Economics 2000/12, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  18. 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.
  19. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
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Cited by:
  1. António Afonso & Peter Claeys & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2009. "Fiscal Regime Shifts in Portugal," IREA Working Papers 200921, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2009.
  2. António Afonso & Ricardo Sousa, 2011. "The macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy in Portugal: a Bayesian SVAR analysis," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 61-82, April.
  3. Jasper Lukkezen & Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2012. "When is debt sustainable?," CPB Discussion Paper 212, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

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