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The Temporal Causality Between Fiscal Deficits And Interest Rates

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  • STEPHEN M. MILLER
  • FRANK S. RUSSEK

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that higher government fiscal deficits cause higher (long-term) interest rates. Much empirical work-generally standard ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis-has examined this issue and has produced mixed findings. Even if these standard OLS studies conclude that deficits and interest rates are related, they do not answer the question of which came first-the higher deficit or the higher interest rate? A few studies have used Granger causality to consider the question of temporal causality, generally with short-term interest rates. Tliis paper employs the relatively new cointegration and error-correction methodology to reexamine the temporal causality between fiscal deficits and interest rates-both long term and short term. This study finds evidence that federal deficits cause the long-term interest rate. Copyright 1991 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen M. Miller & Frank S. Russek, 1991. "The Temporal Causality Between Fiscal Deficits And Interest Rates," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 9(3), pages 12-23, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:9:y:1991:i:3:p:12-23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Evans, Paul, 1985. "Do Large Deficits Produce High Interest Rates?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 68-87, March.
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    3. McMillin, W. Douglas, 1986. "Federal deficits and short-term interest rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 403-422.
    4. Evans, Paul, 1987. "Interest Rates and Expected Future Budget Deficits in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 34-58, February.
    5. Bailey, Martin J, 1972. "The Optimal Full-Employment Surplus," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 649-661, July-Aug..
    6. Hoelscher, Gregory, 1986. "New Evidence on Deficits and Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(1), pages 1-17, February.
    7. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-438, July.
    8. Engle, Robert F. & Yoo, Byung Sam, 1987. "Forecasting and testing in co-integrated systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 143-159, May.
    9. Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Government financing decisions and asset returns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 325-352.
    10. Makin, John H, 1983. "Real Interest, Money Surprises, Anticipated Inflation and Fiscal Deficits," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 374-384, August.
    11. James R. Barth & George Iden & Frank S. Russek, 1984. "Do Federal Deficits Really Matter?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 3(1), pages 79-95, September.
    12. de Leeuw, Frank & Holloway, Thomas M, 1985. "The Measurement and Significance of the Cyclically Adjusted Federal Budget and Debt," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(2), pages 232-242, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ardagna Silvia & Caselli Francesco & Lane Timothy, 2007. "Fiscal Discipline and the Cost of Public Debt Service: Some Estimates for OECD Countries," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-35, August.
    2. Eric M. Engen & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2005. "Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 83-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Yu Hsing, 2010. "Does More Government Deficit Lead to a Higher Long-term Interest Rate? Application of an Extended Loanable Funds Model to Estonia," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 12(28), pages 650-659, June.
    4. Yu Hsing, 2010. "Government Borrowing And The Longterm Interest Rate: Application Of An Extended Loanable Funds Model To The Slovak Republic," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 55(184), pages 58-70, January –.
    5. Ardagna, Silvia, 2009. "Financial Markets’ Behavior Around Episodes of Large Changes in the Fiscal Stance," Scholarly Articles 2579824, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Yu Hsing, 2015. "Determinants of the Government Bond Yield in Spain: A Loanable Funds Model," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-9, July.

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