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Assessing effective sustainability of fiscal policy within the G-7

  • Fève, Patrick
  • Hénin, Pierre-Yves

This paper introduces a new unit root test, using "Feedback Covariates", in order to test for sustainability of fiscal policy within the G-7.Non-sustainability is considered as the null hypothesis of both a unit root in the debt process and the nullity of a deficit correction in response to inherited debt. We characterize the distribution of the FADF (Feedback Augmented Dickey-Fuller) statistics under both the null and the near unit root alternative and we compare the FADF statistics with the ones related to single equation approaches. This test is applied to public debt normalized by GDP, rather than by a discount factor, consistently with a definition of effective sustainability, which focusses on policy implications. We are still unable to reject the null hypothesis of non-sustainability for four countries. Nevertheless, our results confirm the potential of our approach in terms of power gains aind show that standard unit root tests lead to accept too often the null hypothesis of non-stationnarity.

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Paper provided by CEPREMAP in its series CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) with number 9815.

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Length: 128 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpm:cepmap:9815
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  1. Steven A. Symansky & Douglas Laxton & Hamid Faruqee, 1996. "Government Debt, Life-Cycle Income and Liquidity Constrains; Beyond Approximate Ricardian Equivalence," IMF Working Papers 96/140, International Monetary Fund.
  2. repec:cup:etheor:v:10:y:1994:i:3-4:p:672-700 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Cavanagh, Christopher L. & Elliott, Graham & Stock, James H., 1995. "Inference in Models with Nearly Integrated Regressors," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 1131-1147, October.
  4. repec:cup:etheor:v:11:y:1995:i:5:p:1148-71 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Artis, M. & Marcellino, M., 1998. "Fiscal Solvency and Fiscal Forecasting in Europe," Economics Working Papers eco98/2, European University Institute.
  6. Campbell, John & Perron, Pierre, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know about Unit Roots," Scholarly Articles 3374863, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. James D. Hamilton & Marjorie A. Flavin, 1985. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for Empirical Testing," NBER Working Papers 1632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Quintos, Carmela E, 1995. "Sustainability of the Deficit Process with Structural Shifts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(4), pages 409-17, October.
  9. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 740R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 1986.
  10. Bruce E. Hansen, 1995. "Rethinking the Univariate Approach to Unit Root Testing: Using Covariates to Increase Power," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 300., Boston College Department of Economics.
  11. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1986. "Towards a Unified Asymptotic Theory for Autoregression," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 782R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Aug 1986.
  12. Bharat Trehan & Carl E. Walsh, 1987. "Common trends, the government's budget constraint, and revenue smoothing," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 87-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. repec:cup:etheor:v:11:y:1995:i:5:p:1131-47 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Robert Holzmann & Yves Hervé & Roland Demmel, 1996. "The maastricht fiscal criteria: Required but ineffective?," Empirica, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 25-58, February.
  15. Buiter, Willem H. & Patel, U, 1990. "Debt, Deficits and Inflation: An Application to the Public Finance of India," CEPR Discussion Papers 408, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Hakkio, Craig S & Rush, Mark, 1991. "Is the Budget Deficit "Too Large?"," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 429-45, July.
  17. Wilcox, David W, 1989. "The Sustainability of Government Deficits: Implications of the Present-Value Borrowing Constraint," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(3), pages 291-306, August.
  18. Elliott, Graham & Stock, James H., 1994. "Inference in Time Series Regression When the Order of Integration of a Regressor is Unknown," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(3-4), pages 672-700, August.
  19. Bohn, H., 1990. "The Sutainability Of Budget Deficits In A Stochastic Economy," Weiss Center Working Papers 6-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  20. Peter C.B. Phillips & Bruce E. Hansen, 1988. "Statistical Inference in Instrumental Variables," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 869R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Apr 1989.
  21. Wickens, M. R. & Uctum, Merih, 1993. "The sustainability of current account deficits : A test of the US intertemporal budget constraint," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 423-441, May.
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