Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Intertemporal Government Budget Constraint and Tests for Bubbles


Author Info

  • Graham Elliott

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Colm Kearney

    (University of New South Wales)


The methodology for the testing of bubbles in asset prices has recently been applied to testing the sustainability of government debt accumulation. In particular, Hamilton and Flavin (1986) and MacDonald and Speight (1987) use the methodology developed by Flood and Garber (1980) in an attempt to identify a period of bubble financing of the budget deficit for the US and UK respectively. MacDonald and Speight and Trehan and Walsh (1988) also use recently developed cointegration methods in an alternative test of the hypothesis of unsustainable financing. This paper uses the above methods to test for bubble financing of the fiscal deficit for Australia. We develop the method to allow for the effects of income growth on the sustainability of deficits and critically appraise some of the methods used in previous studies and suggest improvements. Our finding is that over the period 1953/54 to 1986/87 there is no evidence of unsustainability of government debt. The analysis suggests that instead, seignorage was used to pay for sustained fiscal deficits, and that the overall level of debt as a ratio of GDP fell over the period as a result of strong GDP growth and inflation.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp8809.

as in new window
Date of creation: Nov 1988
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp8809

Contact details of provider:
Postal: GPO Box 3947, Sydney NSW 2001
Phone: 61-2-9551-8111
Fax: 61-2-9551-8000
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:

Related research



No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Bogdan Dima & Oana Lobont & Cristina Nicolescu, 2009. "The Fiscal Revenues And Public Expenditures: Is Their Evolution Sustenable? The Romanian Case," Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Faculty of Sciences, "1 Decembrie 1918" University, Alba Iulia, vol. 1(11), pages 42.
  2. Antonio Afonso, 2004. "Fiscal Sustainability: the Unpleasant European Case," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 57, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  3. Emilia Câmpeanu & Andreea Stoian, 2010. "Fiscal Policy Reaction in the Short Term for Assessing Fiscal Sustainability in the Long Runin Central and Eastern European Countries," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 60(6), pages 501-518, December.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp8809. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Paula Drew).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.