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Australian Evidence on Tax Smoothing and the Optimal Budget Surplus

  • Olekalns, Nilss

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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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. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
  4. 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.
  5. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  13. 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.
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