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Economic and Political Determinants of Budget Deficits in the European Union: A Dynamic Random Coefficient Approach

  • Ali Bayar
  • Bram Smeets
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    This paper formulates a dynamic Random Coefficient Model (RCM) to consider a set of popular determinants of public deficits in the EU-15 over the period 1971-2006, both at a country-specific level and from a population-wide perspective. Although the extent of government deficits and debt has been one of the most debated macroeconomic issues in recent times, the models trying to capture the explanatory powers driving these deficits typically estimate models that pose the strict assumption of homogeneity on the coefficients over all countries in the model. The sensibility of this assumption will be investigated, with results showing that an increase in the degree of heterogeneity leads to an improvement in the model fit and provides additional information to nuance the effects of the explanatory variables. In this way, the paper exposes a limited degree of partisanship over all countries under consideration, but on the other hand provides evidence for opportunistic behaviour of policymakers in the major part of the sample. The effect of institutional changes following the enforcement of the Maastricht Treaty varies over the countries and is related to the necessity of budgetary consolidation.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-02/cesifo1_wp2546.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2546.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2546
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    1. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
    2. Mark Mink & Jakob de Haan, 2006. "Are there Political Budget Cycles in the Euro Area?," European Union Politics, , vol. 7(2), pages 191-211, June.
    3. L. Randall Wray & Stephanie Bell, 2004. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Credit and State Theories of Money, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
    4. Swamy, P A V B, 1970. "Efficient Inference in a Random Coefficient Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 311-23, March.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1996. "Budget Deficits and Budget Institutions," IMF Working Papers 96/52, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Kajal Lahiri, 2005. "Analysis of Panel Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 1093-1095.
    7. Andrikopoulos, Andreas & Loizides, Ioannis & Prodromidis, Kyprianos, 2004. "Fiscal policy and political business cycles in the EU," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 125-152, March.
    8. Edin, P-A. & Ohlsson, H., 1990. "Political Determinants Of Budget Deficits: Coalition Effects Versus Minority Effects," Papers 1990k, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    9. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    10. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 1994. " Political and Institutional Determinants of Fiscal Policy in the European Community," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 80(1-2), pages 157-72, July.
    11. Carlos Mulas-Granados, 2003. "The Political and Economic Determinants of Budgetary Consolidation in Europe," European Political Economy Review, European Political Economy Infrastructure Consortium, vol. 1(Spring), pages 15-39.
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