IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Testing for fiscal sustainability: New evidence from the G-7 and some European countries

  • Chen, Shyh-Wei
Registered author(s):

    Whether or not a government deficit is sustainable has important implications for policy. If the debt of a nation is sustainable, then it implies that the government should have no incentive to default on its internal debt. In this article we examine whether or not the debt-GDP ratios of the G-7 and some European countries can be characterized by a unit root process with the non-linear trend and asymmetric adjustment. The econometric methodology allows us to determine whether the stationarity holds for the government's debt–GDP ratio after considering the non-linear trend. Among the main results, it is found that it is very likely that the debt–GDP ratios of Canada, Germany, the US and Italy are stationarity after taking account of the non-linear trend in the long run. Nevertheless, it is model-dependent for the debt–GDP ratios of these countries to be asymmetrically adjusted after taking the non-linear trend into consideration.

    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: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 1-15

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:37:y:2014:i:c:p:1-15
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Huseyin Kalyoncu, 2005. "Fiscal policy sustainability: test of intertemporal borrowing constraints," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(15), pages 957-962.
    2. Martin, G.M., 1998. "U.S. Deficit Sustainability: A New Approach Based on Multiple Endogenous Breaks," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 1/98, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
    3. Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:3:p:949-963 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. Mohitosh Kejriwal & Pierre Perron, 2006. "The Limit Distribution of the Estimates in Cointegrated Regression Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-064, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    7. Christophe Rault & Antonio Alfonso, 2007. "What do we really know about fiscal sustainability in the EU? A panel data diagnostic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp893, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    8. Arghyrou, Michael G. & Luintel, Kul B., 2007. "Government solvency: Revisiting some EMU countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 387-410, June.
    9. David W. Wilcox, 1987. "The substainability of government deficits: implications of the present- value borrowing constraint," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 77, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Joakim Westerlund, 2006. "Testing for Panel Cointegration with Multiple Structural Breaks," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(1), pages 101-132, 02.
    11. Bruce E. Hansen & Mehmet Caner, 1997. "Threshold Autoregressions with a Unit Root," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 381, Boston College Department of Economics.
    12. Steven Cook & Dimitrios Vougas, 2009. "Unit root testing against an ST-MTAR alternative: finite-sample properties and an application to the UK housing market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(11), pages 1397-1404.
    13. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
    14. Hamilton, James D & Flavin, Marjorie A, 1986. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for EmpiricalTesting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 808-19, September.
    15. Gregory, Allan W & Hansen, Bruce E, 1996. "Tests for Cointegration in Models with Regime and Trend Shifts," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(3), pages 555-60, August.
    16. Oscar Bajo-Rubio & Carmen Díaz-Roldán & Vicente Esteve, 2003. "Searching for Threshold Effects in the Evolution of Budget Deficits: An Application to the Spanish Case," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2003/29, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    17. Feve, Patrick & Henin, Pierre-Yves, 2000. " Assessing Effective Sustainability of Fiscal Policy within the G-7," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(2), pages 175-95, May.
    18. Oscar Bajo Rubio & Carmen Díaz Roldán & Vicente Esteve, 2010. "On the sustainability of government deficits: Some long-term evidence for Spain, 1850-2000," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 263-281, November.
    19. Robin L. Lumsdaine & David H. Papell, 1997. "Multiple Trend Breaks And The Unit-Root Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 212-218, May.
    20. 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.
    21. Mohitosh Kejriwal & Pierre Perron, 2006. "Testing for Multiple Structural Changes in Cointegrated Regression Models," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-051, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    22. Bertola, Giuseppe & Drazen, Allan, 1993. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 11-26, March.
    23. Philip Arestis & Andrea Cipollini & Bassam Fattouh, 2003. "Threshold Effects in the US Budget Deficit," CEIS Research Paper 18, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
    24. Lori Leachman & Alan Bester & Guillermo Rosas & Peter Lange, 2005. "Multicointegration and Sustainability of Fiscal Practices," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(2), pages 454-466, April.
    25. Vougas, Dimitrios V., 2007. "Is the trend in post-WW II US real GDP uncertain or non-linear?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 348-355, March.
    26. Robert Sollis, 2004. "Asymmetric adjustment and smooth transitions: a combination of some unit root tests," Journal of Time Series Analysis, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 409-417, 05.
    27. Hansen, Bruce E. & Seo, Byeongseon, 2002. "Testing for two-regime threshold cointegration in vector error-correction models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 293-318, October.
    28. Uctum, Merih & Wickens, Michael R., 1997. "Debt and Deficit Ceilings, and Sustainability of Fiscal Policies: An Intertemporal Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1612, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    29. Westerlund, Joakim & Edgerton, David L., 2007. "A panel bootstrap cointegration test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 185-190, December.
    30. 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.
    31. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
    32. Troy Davig, 2005. "Periodically expanding discounted debt: a threat to fiscal policy sustainability?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(7), pages 829-840.
    33. Bajo-Rubio, Oscar & Diaz-Roldan, Carmen & Esteve, Vicente, 2006. "Is the budget deficit sustainable when fiscal policy is non-linear? The case of Spain," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 596-608, September.
    34. Perron, P., 1990. "Further Evidence On Breaking Trend Functions In Macroeconomics Variables," Papers 350, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
    35. Vanessa Berenguer‐Rico & Josep Lluís Carrion‐i‐Silvestre, 2011. "Regime shifts in stock–flow I(2)–I(1) systems: the case of US fiscal sustainability," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 298-321, March.
    36. Escario, Regina & Gadea, María Dolores & Sabaté, Marcela, 2012. "Multicointegration, seigniorage and fiscal sustainability. Spain 1857–2000," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 270-283.
    37. Goyal, Rajan & Khundrakpam, J. K. & Ray, Partha, 2004. "Is India's public finance unsustainable? Or, are the claims exaggerated?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 401-420, April.
    38. Kia, Amir, 2008. "Fiscal sustainability in emerging countries: Evidence from Iran and Turkey," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 957-972.
    39. Oscar Bajo-Rubio & Carmen Diaz-Roldan & Vicente Esteve, 2008. "US deficit sustainability revisited: a multiple structural change approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(12), pages 1609-1613.
    40. António Afonso, 2005. "Fiscal Sustainability: The Unpleasant European Case," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(1), pages 19-, March.
    41. Enders, Walter & Granger, C. W. J., 1998. "Unit Root Tests and Asymmetric Adjustment with an Example Using the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Staff General Research Papers 1388, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    42. Cipollini, Andrea, 2001. "Testing for Government Intertemporal Solvency: A Smooth Transition Error Correction Model Approach," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(6), pages 643-55, December.
    43. Vasco Gabriel & Pataaree Sangduan, 2009. "Assessing Fiscal Sustainability Subject to Policy Changes: a Markov Switching Cointegration Approach," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0309, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    44. Shin, Yongcheol, 1994. "A Residual-Based Test of the Null of Cointegration Against the Alternative of No Cointegration," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 91-115, March.
    45. Michael Getzner & Ernst Glatzer & Reinhard Neck, 2001. "On the Sustainability of Austrian Budgetary Policies," Empirica, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 21-40, March.
    46. Hall, Alastair R, 1994. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series with Pretest Data-Based Model Selection," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 461-70, October.
    47. Zivot, Eric & Andrews, Donald W K, 1992. "Further Evidence on the Great Crash, the Oil-Price Shock, and the Unit-Root Hypothesis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 251-70, July.
    48. Baharumshah, Ahmad Zubaidi & Lau, Evan, 2007. "Regime changes and the sustainability of fiscal imbalance in East Asian countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 878-894, November.
    49. Mahdavi, Saeid & Westerlund, Joakim, 2011. "Fiscal stringency and fiscal sustainability: Panel evidence from the American state and local governments," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 953-969.
    50. James Payne & Hassan Mohammadi, 2006. "Are Adjustments in the U.S. Budget Deficit Asymmetric? Another Look at Sustainability," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 34(1), pages 15-22, March.
    51. Leybourne, Stephen J. & Mizen, Paul, 1999. "Understanding the disinflations in Australia, Canada and New Zealand using evidence from smooth transition analysis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 799-816, October.
    52. Enders, Walter & Siklos, Pierre L, 2001. "Cointegration and Threshold Adjustment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(2), pages 166-76, April.
    53. Lusine Lusinyan & John Thornton, 2009. "The sustainability of South African fiscal policy: an historical perspective," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(7), pages 859-868.
    54. Sarno, Lucio, 2001. "The behavior of US public debt: a nonlinear perspective," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 119-125, December.
    55. James Payne & Hassan Mohammadi & Murat Cak, 2008. "Turkish budget deficit sustainability and the revenue-expenditure nexus," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(7), pages 823-830.
    56. Schmidt, Peter & Phillips, C B Peter, 1992. "LM Tests for a Unit Root in the Presence of Deterministic Trends," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 257-87, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:37:y:2014:i:c:p:1-15. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.