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Fiscal policies, the current account and Ricardian equivalence

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  • Vansteenkiste, Isabel
  • Nickel, Christiane

Abstract

This paper analyses the empirical relationship between fiscal policy and the current account of the balance of payments and considers how Ricardian equivalence changes this relationship. To do so, we estimate a dynamic panel threshold model for 22 industrialised countries in which the relationship between the current account and the government balance is allowed to alter according to the government debt to GDP ratio. The results show that for countries with debt to GDP ratios up to 90% the relationship between the government balance and the current account is positive, i.e. an increase in the fiscal deficit leads to a higher current account deficit. For very high debt countries this relationship however turns negative but insignificant, suggesting that a rise in the fiscal deficit does not result in a rise in the current account deficit. Implicitly this result suggests that households in very hight debt countries tend to become Ricardian. Estimating the same model for the 11 largest euro area countries shows that the reationship between the govnerment balance and the current account turns statistically insignificant when the debt to GDP ratio exceeds 80%. JEL Classification: F32, E62, F41

Suggested Citation

  • Vansteenkiste, Isabel & Nickel, Christiane, 2008. "Fiscal policies, the current account and Ricardian equivalence," Working Paper Series 935, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2008935
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sophocles Brissimis & George Hondroyiannis & Christos Papazoglou & Nicholas Tsaveas & Melina Vasardani, 2012. "Current account determinants and external sustainability in periods of structural change," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 71-95, February.
    2. repec:taf:oaefxx:v:5:y:2017:i:1:p:1351674 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Cosimo Magazzino, 2012. "Fiscal Policy, Consumption and Current Account in the European Countries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1330-1344.
    4. Charles B. Blankart, 2011. "Der Euro 2084," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 64(16), pages 20-24, September.
    5. Misztal, Piotr, 2012. "The link between government budget and current account in the Baltic countries," MPRA Paper 40784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Prilepskiy, Ilya, 2015. "The impact of fiscal policy on the current account balance and the real exchange rate," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 7-23.
    7. repec:bal:journl:2256-0742:2016:2:1:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:kap:iaecre:v:19:y:2013:i:3:p:289-310 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. van Riet, Ad, 2010. "Euro area fiscal policies and the crisis," Occasional Paper Series 109, European Central Bank.
    10. Gossé, Jean-Baptiste & Serranito, Francisco, 2014. "Long-run determinants of current accounts in OECD countries: Lessons for intra-European imbalances," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 451-462.
    11. Aristovnik, Aleksander & Djurić, Sandra, 2010. "Twin deficits and the Feldstein-Horioka puzzle: a comparison of the EU member states and candidate countries," MPRA Paper 24149, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Holmes, Mark J., 2011. "Threshold cointegration and the short-run dynamics of twin deficit behaviour," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 271-277, September.
    13. Charles B. Blankart, 2012. "The Euro in 2084," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 13(SPECIALIS), pages 23-28, February.
    14. Francesco Forte & Cosimo Magazzino, 2015. "Ricardian equivalence and twin deficits hypotheses in the euro area," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 17(2), pages 148-166, October.
    15. Christiane Nickel & Andreas Tudyka, 2014. "Fiscal Stimulus in Times of High Debt: Reconsidering Multipliers and Twin Deficits," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(7), pages 1313-1344, October.
    16. Francesco Forte & Cosimo Magazzino, 2013. "Twin Deficits in the European Countries," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 19(3), pages 289-310, August.
    17. Daniel Choi & Mark Holmes, 2014. "Budget deficits and real interest rates: a regime-switching reflection on Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 38(1), pages 71-83, January.
    18. Demdoumi, Meriem, 2016. "La gestion structurelle des déficits jumeaux au Maroc et la recherche d’une stratégie d’équilibre
      [Structural management of twin deficits in Morocco and Finding an equilibrium strategy]
      ," MPRA Paper 71533, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2016.
    19. Dragomirescu-Gaina, Catalin & Philippas, Dionisis, 2015. "Strategic interactions of fiscal policies in Europe: A global VAR perspective," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 49-76.
    20. repec:rss:jnljee:v4i3p3 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Jakub Boratyński & Jakub Borowski, 2012. "The long-term economic impact of the flat tax in Poland. CGE simulation under alternative assumptions," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 43(3), pages 5-30.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    current account; fiscal policy; panel threshold model.;

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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