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Using Panel Data to Test for Fiscal Sustainability within the European Union

  • Silika Prohl
  • Joakim Westerlund

Most empirical evidence suggests that the sustainability hypothesis, stating that government revenues and expenditures should cointegrate with a unit slope on expenditures, does not hold within the European Union, a finding at odds with many theoretical models. This paper argues that these results can be attributed in part to the use of inappropriate time-series techniques, and that the use of panel data can generate more accurate tests. By using newly devised panel unit-root and cointegration techniques it is shown that the sustainability hypothesis cannot be rejected when applied to a panel composed of 15 European countries between 1970 and 2004.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 65 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 246-269

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200906)65:2_246:updttf_2.0.tx_2-7
DOI: 10.1628/001522109X470612
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.mohr.de/fa

Order Information: Postal: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, P.O.Box 2040, 72010 Tübingen, Germany
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  1. Christian Gengenbach & Franz C. Palm & Jean-Pierre Urbain, 2006. "Cointegration Testing in Panels with Common Factors," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(s1), pages 683-719, December.
  2. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2004. "A PANIC Attack on Unit Roots and Cointegration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1127-1177, 07.
  3. Michael Artis & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2001. "Fiscal forecasting: The track record of the IMF, OECD and EC," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages S20-S36.
  4. Luciano Gutierrez, 2006. "Panel Unit-root Tests for Cross-sectionally Correlated Panels: A Monte Carlo Comparison," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(4), pages 519-540, 08.
  5. Alho, Juha M. & Vanne, Reijo, 2006. "On predictive distributions of public net liabilities," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 725-733.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bravo, Ana Bela Santos & Silvestre, Antonio Luis, 2002. "Intertemporal sustainability of fiscal policies: some tests for European countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 517-528, September.
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