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3-step analysis of public finances sustainability: the case of the European Union

  • Afonso, António
  • Rault, Christophe

We use a 3-step analysis to assess the sustainability of public finances in the EU27. Firstly, we perform the SURADF specific panel unit root test to investigate the meanreverting behaviour of general government expenditure and revenue ratios. Secondly, we apply the bootstrap panel cointegration techniques that account for the time series and cross-sectional dependencies of the regression error. Thirdly, we check for a structural long-run equation between general government expenditures and revenues via SUR analysis. While results imply that public finances were not unsustainable for the EU panel, fiscal sustainability is an issue in most countries, with a below unit estimated coefficient of expenditure in the cointegration relation with revenue as the dependent variable. JEL Classification: C23, E62, H62

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0908.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20080908
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  1. 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.
  2. Afonso, António & Rault, Christophe, 2007. "What do we really know about fiscal sustainability in the EU? A panel data diagnostic," Working Paper Series 0820, European Central Bank.
  3. Campbell, John & Perron, Pierre, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know about Unit Roots," Scholarly Articles 3374863, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  9. Anindya Banerjee & Josep Lluis Carrion-i-Silvestre, 2011. "Cointegration in Panel Data with Breaks and Cross-section Dependence," Discussion Papers 11-25, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  10. António Afonso & Christophe Rault, 2008. "Should we care for structural breaks when assessing fiscal sustainability?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp902, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  11. L. Vanessa Smith & Stephen Leybourne & Tae-Hwan Kim & Paul Newbold, 2004. "More powerful panel data unit root tests with an application to mean reversion in real exchange rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 147-170.
  12. Janice Boucher Breuer & Robert McNown & Myles Wallace, 2006. "Misleading Inferences from Panel Unit Root Tests: a Reply," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 512-516, 08.
  13. Taylor, Mark P. & Sarno, Lucio, 1998. "The behavior of real exchange rates during the post-Bretton Woods period," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-312, December.
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  16. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  17. Peter Pedroni, 1999. "Critical Values for Cointegration Tests in Heterogeneous Panels with Multiple Regressors," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  18. Antonio Afonso, 2004. "Fiscal Sustainability: the Unpleasant European Case," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 57, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  19. Peter Pedroni, 2001. "Purchasing Power Parity Tests in Cointegrated Panels," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-01, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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  23. Kaddour Hadri, 1999. "Testing For Stationarity In Heterogeneous Panel Data," Research Papers 1999_04, University of Liverpool Management School.
  24. Pedroni, Peter, 2004. "Panel Cointegration: Asymptotic And Finite Sample Properties Of Pooled Time Series Tests With An Application To The Ppp Hypothesis," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(03), pages 597-625, June.
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  27. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2007:i:63:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
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