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Non-linear adjustments in fiscal policy

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Abstract

This paper provides evidence that the Italian public finances are sustainable, as the country meets its intertemporal budget constraint. Nevertheless, the burden of correcting budgetary disequilibria is entirely carried by changes in taxes, which can have some detrimental economic effects, rather than changes in government spending or policy mixes. Our non-linear analysis, in particular, shows that taxes adjust more rapidly when deviations from the equilibrium level get larger, and that they are downward inflexible not only with respect to their long-run level, but also during periods of decreasing economic growth. In order to correct the undesirable trend of high fiscal pressure and high public debt in Italy, structural expenditure reforms aiming at a higher degree of government expenditure adjustment are needed. This would also relax the asymmetries reported in the paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Legrenzi, G. & Milas, C., 2004. "Non-linear adjustments in fiscal policy," Working Papers 04/06, Department of Economics, City University London.
  • Handle: RePEc:cty:dpaper:04/06
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    general government expenditure; general government revenues; cointegration; persistence profile; asymmetries;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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