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

The macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy in Portugal: a Bayesian SVAR analysis

  • António Afonso


  • Ricardo Sousa


In the last twenty years Portugal struggled to keep public finances under control, notably in containing primary spending. We use a new quarterly dataset covering 1979:1-2007:4, and estimate a Bayesian Structural Autoregression model to analyze the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy. The results show that positive government spending shocks, in general, have a negative effect on real GDP; lead to important "crowding-out" effects, by impacting negatively on private consumption and investment; and have a persistent and positive effect on the price level and the average cost of financing government debt. Positive government revenue shocks tend to have a negative impact on GDP; and lead to a fall in the price level. The evidence also shows the importance of explicitly considering the government debt dynamics in the model. Finally, a VAR counter-factual exercise confirms that unexpected positive government spending shocks lead to important "crowding-out" effects.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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 Springer in its journal Portuguese Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 10 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 61-82

in new window

Handle: RePEc:spr:portec:v:10:y:2011:i:1:p:61-82
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

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. António Afonso, 2007. "Public finances in Portugal: a brief longrun view," Working Papers Department of Economics 2007/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  2. Pablo Burriel & Francisco de Castro & Daniel Garrote & Esther Gordo & Joan Paredes & Javier J. Pérez, 2010. "Fiscal Policy Shocks in the Euro Area and the US: An Empirical Assessment," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(2), pages 251-285, 06.
  3. Canzoneri, Matthew B & Cumby, Robert & Diba, Behzad, 1998. "Is the Price Level Determined by the Needs of Fiscal Solvency?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1772, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Eric M. Leeper & Tao Zha, 2003. "Modest policy interventions," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2003-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Perez, Javier J., 2007. "Leading indicators for euro area government deficits," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 259-275.
  6. Stéphanie Guichard & Willi Leibfritz, 2006. "The Fiscal Challenge in Portugal," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 489, OECD Publishing.
  7. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1998. "Understanding the effects of a shock to government purchases," Working Paper Series WP-98-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper & Hess Chung, 2004. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Switching," NBER Working Papers 10362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. de Castro Fernández, Francisco & Hernández de Cos, Pablo, 2006. "The economic effects of exogenous fiscal shocks in Spain: a SVAR approach," Working Paper Series 0647, European Central Bank.
  10. Afonso, Antonio & Claeys, Peter, 2008. "The dynamic behaviour of budget components and output," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 93-117, January.
  11. Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto, 1998. "Tales of Fiscal Adjustment," Scholarly Articles 2579822, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Afonso, António & Sousa, Ricardo M., 2009. "Fiscal policy, housing and stock prices," Working Paper Series 0990, European Central Bank.
  13. Beetsma, Roel & Jensen, Henrik, 2002. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in a micro-founded model of a monetary union," Working Paper Series 0166, European Central Bank.
  14. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  15. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of two Small Euopean Countries," Working Papers 89, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  16. Giavazzi, Francesco & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Searching for non-linear effects of fiscal policy: Evidence from industrial and developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1259-1289, June.
  17. Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2007. "Debt and the effects of fiscal policy," Working Papers 317, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  18. Carlos José Fonseca Marinheiro, 2005. "Sustainability of Portuguese Fiscal Policy in Historical Perspective," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 32, Departamento de Economia, Gestão e Engenharia Industrial, Universidade de Aveiro.
  19. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  20. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Consumption and Employment: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Afonso, António & Sousa, Ricardo M., 2009. "The macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy," Working Paper Series 0991, European Central Bank.
  22. Afonso, António, 2006. "Expansionary fiscal consolidations in Europe: new evidence," Working Paper Series 0675, European Central Bank.
  23. Onorante, Luca & Pedregal, Diego J. & Pérez, Javier J. & Signorini, Sara, 2008. "The usefulness of infra-annual government cash budgetary data for fiscal forecasting in the euro area," Working Paper Series 0901, European Central Bank.
  24. Raffaela Giordano & Sandro Momigliano & Stefano Neri & Roberto Perotti, 2008. "The effetcs of fiscal policy in Italy: Evidence from a VAR model," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 656, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  25. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna, 1998. "Tales of fiscal adjustment," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(27), pages 487-545, October.
  26. Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1999. "Costly Capital Reallocation and the Effects of Government Spending," NBER Working Papers 6283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. António Afonso, 2005. "Fiscal Sustainability: The Unpleasant European Case," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(1), pages 19-, March.
  28. António Afonso, 2008. "Ricardian fiscal regimes in the European Union," Empirica, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 313-334, July.
  29. Kormendi, Roger C, 1983. "Government Debt, Government Spending, and Private Sector Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 994-1010, December.
  30. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy In Good Times And Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436, November.
  31. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  32. Wolff, Guntram B. & Tenhofen, Jörn & Heppke-Falk, Kirsten H., 2006. "The macroeconomic effects of exogenous fiscal policy shocks in Germany: a disaggregated SVAR analysis," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,41, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  33. Sims, Christopher A. & Zha, Tao, 2006. "Does Monetary Policy Generate Recessions?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 231-272, April.
  34. António Afonso & Sónia Fernandes, 2008. "Assessing Hospital Efficiency: Non-parametric Evidence for Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 2008/07, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  35. Olivier Biau & Élie Girard, 2005. "Politique budgétaire et dynamique économique en France. L'approche var structurel," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(3), pages 755-764.
  36. Roberto Perotti, 2004. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Papers 276, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  37. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 763-801, June.
  38. Nathalie Girouard & Christophe André, 2005. "Measuring Cyclically-adjusted Budget Balances for OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 434, OECD Publishing.
  39. Bauwens, Luc & Lubrano, Michel & Richard, Jean-Francois, 2000. "Bayesian Inference in Dynamic Econometric Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773139.
  40. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Adjustment within the euro. The difficult case of Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, April.
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:spr:portec:v:10:y:2011:i:1:p:61-82. 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: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Christopher F Baum)

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.