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Is Fiscal Policy Sustainable in Developing Economies?

  • Subrata Ghatak
  • José R. Sánchez-Fung

This paper investigates fiscal policy sustainability in Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and Venezuela using competing methodologies. Standard unit roots and cointegration analyses do not endorse the validity of the intertemporal budget constraint. In contrast, to varying degree across-countries, alternative testing employing a fiscal policy reaction function indicates sustainability defined as surplus adjustments in response to higher debt to income ratios. Corresponding debt-dynamics analyses show that corrective measures were put in place to revert non-sustainable trends in government debt. However, ancillary variables in the debt modeling produce statistically weak evidence of procyclical fiscal behavior in the Latin American countries.

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Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Discussion Papers with number 384.

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Date of creation: 21 Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:384
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  1. James G. MacKinnon, 2010. "Critical Values for Cointegration Tests," Working Papers 1227, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Rodriguez, Francisco & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 1999. " Why Do Resource-Abundant Economies Grow More Slowly?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 277-303, September.
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  7. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2001. "On Adjusting the HP-Filter for the Frequency of Observations," CESifo Working Paper Series 479, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Talvi, Ernesto & Vegh, Carlos A., 2005. "Tax base variability and procyclical fiscal policy in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 156-190, October.
  9. 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.
  10. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Gita Gopinath, 2005. "Efficient Fiscal Policy and Amplification," NBER Working Papers 11490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & McDermott, C John & Prasad, Eswar S, 2000. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries: Some Stylized Facts," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 251-85, May.
  13. Burgess, Robin & Stern, Nicholas, 1993. "Taxation and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 762-830, June.
  14. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
  15. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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