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Asymmetric and non-linear adjustment in the revenue-expenditure models

Listed author(s):
  • Gabriella Legrenzi
  • Costas Milas


The purpose of this paper is to empirically analyse the revenue-expenditure models of public finance by considering the possibility of non-linear and asymmetric adjustment. A long-run relationship between general government expenditure and revenues is identified for Italy.Following system-wide shocks, the estimated relationship adjusts slowly to equilibrium,mainly due to complex administrative procedures that add to the sluggishness of tax collection and undermine the effective monitoring of public spending. Exogeneity of public expenditure implies that taxes rather than spending, carry the burden of short-run adjustment to correct budgetary disequilibria. Allowing for non-linear adjustment and the possibility of multiple equilibria, our findings show evidence of asymmetric adjustment around a unique equilibrium. In particular, we find that when government expenditure is too high, adjustment of taxes takes places at a faster rate than when it is too low. Further, there is evidence of a faster adjustment when deviations from the equilibrium level get larger, pointing to a Leviathan-style, revenue-maximiser government.

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Paper provided by Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University in its series Public Policy Discussion Papers with number 02-03.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Handle: RePEc:bru:bruppp:02-03
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Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK

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