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A new test for deficit sustainability and its application to US data

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  • Dimitris Hatzinikolaou

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  • Theodore Simos

Abstract

In this paper, we define deficit sustainability by requiring formally that both the discounted debt vanish asymptotically and the undiscounted debt be bounded. Thus, a new necessary condition and a new testing procedure emerge. We propose a new test statistic and prove that its limiting distribution is standard normal, N(0, 1). Its finite- sample distribution differs from N(0, 1), however, mainly because it has fat tails, so we derive empirical critical values using simulations. Using the new test and United States (US) quarterly data, the conclusions of three earlier papers that fail to reject the sustainability of the US budget or current-account deficit are reversed. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitris Hatzinikolaou & Theodore Simos, 2013. "A new test for deficit sustainability and its application to US data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 61-79, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:45:y:2013:i:1:p:61-79 DOI: 10.1007/s00181-012-0607-z
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    1. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1159-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dimitris Hatzinikolaou & Theodore Simos & Agathi Tsoka, 2013. "Is the US current-account deficit sustainable? The importance of structural breaks in testing sustainability," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 2817-2827.
    3. Dimitris Hatzinikolaou, 2016. "A "litmus test" of Deficit Sustainability: The Case of the Greek Budget Deficit," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 6, pages 65-73, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Undiscounted debt; Budget; Current account; Sustainable; E62; H62; H63;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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