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Estimating a Fiscal Reaction Function: The Case of Debt Sustainability in Brazil

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  • Luiz de Mello

Abstract

This paper reviews recent trends in fiscal performance in Brazil, estimates fiscal reaction functions for the consolidated public sector and different levels of government, and tests for the sustainability of the public debt dynamics. The empirical analysis, based on monthly data for the period 1995-2004, suggests that all levels of government react strongly to changes in indebtedness by adjusting their primary budget surplus targets. In addition, the central government appears to follow a spend-and-tax policy: changes in revenue are affected strongly by expenditure, with about two-thirds of changes in primary spending being offset through higher revenue over the long term. Institutions are also found to matter for fiscal sustainability. The responsiveness of sub-national fiscal stance to indebtedness, as well as that of central government revenue to changes in primary spending, appears to have strengthened after 1998, when ceilings on indebtedness were introduced. Estimation des fonctions de réaction budgétaire : La soutenabilité de la dynamique de la dette publique au Brésil Cet article examine les tendances récentes des performances budgétaires au Brésil, estime les fonctions de réaction budgétaire pour le secteur public consolidé et les différents niveaux d’administration, et teste la soutenabilité de la dynamique de la dette publique. L'analyse empirique, basée sur des données mensuelles pour la période 1995-2004, suggère que tous les niveaux d’administration réagissent fortement aux changements de l'endettement en ajustant leurs cibles d’excédent budgétaire primaire. En outre, l’administration centrale semble suivre une politique de « dépenses suivi d’impôt »: les changements de revenu sont affectés fortement par les dépenses, avec environ deux tiers des changements de la dépense primaire étant compensée par un plus haut revenu sur le long terme. Les institutions budgétaires sont également importantes en matière de soutenabilité budgétaire. La réaction des administrations locales à l'endettement, ainsi que celle du revenu de l’administration centrale aux changements de la dépense primaire, semble s’être renforcé après 1998, quand des plafonds sur l'endettement ont été introduits.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/556325773018
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 423.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:423-en

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Keywords: fiscal rules; fiscal reaction function; debt sustainability; Brazil; soutenabilité de dette; Brésil; fonction de réaction budgétaire; règles budgétaires;

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Cited by:
  1. Luiz de Mello, 2007. "The Brazilian 'Tax War': The Case of Value-Added Tax Competition among the States," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 544, OECD Publishing.

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