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

Sustainability of Swiss Fiscal Policy

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner
  • Silika Prohl

Was Swiss federal fiscal policy sustainable over the period from 1900 to 2002? We perform unit root and cointegration tests for federal revenues and expenditures, taking into account a structural shift related to World War II. We find sustainability over the entire period. However, splitting the sample into two sub-samples before and after World War II, the results do much less support sustainability. Finally, applying the tax smoothing model of BARRO (1979), we show that cyclical fluctuations of the output and changes in expected inflation rate are major determinants of the federal budget deficit over the time period considered.

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

Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 144 (2008)
Issue (Month): I (March)
Pages: 57-83

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2008-i-3
Contact details of provider: Postal: c/o SNB/BNS, Börsenstrasse 15, PO Box 2800, CH-8022 Zürich
Phone: +41 (0)44 631 32 34
Fax: +41 (0)44 631 39 01
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Gregory, A.W. & Hansen, B.E., 1992. "Residual-Based Tests for Cointegration in Models with Regime Shifts," RCER Working Papers 335, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. 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.
  3. James D. Hamilton & Marjorie A. Flavin, 1985. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for Empirical Testing," NBER Working Papers 1632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  5. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational Accounts - A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," NBER Working Papers 3589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Junsoo Lee & Mark C. Strazicich, 2003. "Minimum Lagrange Multiplier Unit Root Test with Two Structural Breaks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1082-1089, November.
  7. Auerbach, Alan J & Gokhale, Jagadeesh & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. " Generational Accounting: A New Approach to Understanding the Effects of Fiscal Policy on Saving," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 303-18.
  8. Felix Andrist & Richard G. Anderson & Marcela M. Williams, 2000. "Real output in Switzerland: new estimates for 1914-47," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 43-70.
  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. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgassner, 2004. "Sustainable Fiscal Policy in a Federal System: Switzerland as an Example," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-16, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  11. Dueker, Michael & Fischer, Andreas M., 1996. "Inflation targeting in a small open economy: Empirical results for Switzerland," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 89-103, February.
  12. Stephan Danninger, 2002. "A New Rule: The Swiss Debt Brake," IMF Working Papers 02/18, International Monetary Fund.
  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. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1991. "A simple estimator of cointegrating vectors in higher order integrated systems," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  15. Ahmed, Shaghil & Rogers, John H., 1995. "Government budget deficits and trade deficits Are present value constraints satisfied in long-term data?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 351-374, November.
  16. Haug, A.A., 1993. "Has Federal Budget Deficit Policy Changed in Recent Years?," Papers 93-8, York (Canada) - Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. Muller, Ulrich K., 2005. "Size and power of tests of stationarity in highly autocorrelated time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 128(2), pages 195-213, October.
  19. Ernst Baltensperger & Thomas Jordan & Marcel Savioz, 2001. "The demand for M3 and inflation forecasts: An empirical analysis for Switzerland," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(2), pages 244-272, June.
  20. Sahasakul, Chaipat, 1986. "The U.S. evidence on optimal taxation over time," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 251-275, November.
  21. 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.
  22. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgassner, 2006. "On the Effectiveness of Debt Brakes: The Swiss Experience," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-21, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  24. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-56, July.
  25. 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.
  26. Reinhard Neck & Jan-Egbert Sturm (ed.), 2008. "Sustainability of Public Debt," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262140985, June.
  27. Kremers, Jeroen J. M., 1988. "Long-run limits on the US Federal debt," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 259-262.
  28. Barro, Robert J, 1986. " U.S. Deficits since World War I," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 195-22.
  29. Muellbauer, John, 1992. " Generational Accounting: A New Approach to Understanding the Effects of Fiscal Policy on Saving: Comment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 319-22.
  30. Kremers, Jeroen J. M., 1989. "U.S. Federal indebtedness and the conduct of fiscal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 219-238, March.
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:ses:arsjes:2008-i-3. 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: (Peter Steiner)

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.