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The relationship between public and private saving in Spain: does Ricardian equivalence hold?


  • Francisco de Castro

    () (Banco de España)

  • José Luis Fernández

    () (Banco de España)


This paper aims to test the validity of the Ricardian proposition for the Spanish economy from three different approaches: a) by testing its theoretical implications on the stability of national saving and the relationship between fiscal and current account balances, b) by carrying a number of tests on different structural consumption equations and, c) by testing this hypothesis in consumption functions stemming from the Euler equations derived from a consumer’s maximization problem. Our results lean toward rejection of the Ricardian proposition, although some degree of substitution between public and private saving is detected. In terms of policy implications, these results would suggest that there is some room for fiscal policy to exert its countercyclical role in the case of Spain. However, the effectiveness of such a policy might be limited in a context of rising debt ratios that trigger sustainability concerns and make consumers increasingly Ricardian.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco de Castro & José Luis Fernández, 2009. "The relationship between public and private saving in Spain: does Ricardian equivalence hold?," Working Papers 0923, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0923

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    Cited by:

    1. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Balázs Égert & Oliver Röhn, 2010. "Counter-cyclical Economic Policy," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 760, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item


    Ricardian equivalence; debt neutrality; saving; fiscal policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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