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Public debt sustainability and endogenous seigniorage in Brazil: time-series evidence from 1947-92: revised version

  • Issler, João Victor
  • Lima, Luiz Renato Regis de Oliveira

Using national accounts data for the revenue-GDP and expenditureGDP ratios from 1947 to 1992, we examine three central issues in public finance. First, was the path of public debt sustainable during this period? Second, if debt is sustainable, how has the government historically balanced the budget after shocks to either revenues or expenditures? Third, are expenditures exogenous? The results show that (i) public deficit is stationary (bounded asymptotic variance), with the budget in Brazil being balanced almost entirely through changes in taxes, regardless of the cause of the initial imbalance. Expenditures are weakly exogenous, but tax revenues are not; (ii) the behavior of a rational Brazilian consumer may be consistent with Ricardian Equivalence; (iii) seigniorage revenues are critical to restore intertemporal budget equilibrium, since, when we exclude them from total revenues, debt is not sustainable in econometric tests.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 334.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:334
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  1. Ahmed, Shaghil & Rogers, John H., 1995. "Government budget deficits and trade deficits Are present value constraints satisfied in long-term data?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 351-374, November.
  2. 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.
  3. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
  4. Cysne, Rubens Penha, 1995. "O sistema financeiro oficial e a queda das transferências inflacionárias," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 254, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  5. Hamilton, James D & Flavin, Marjorie A, 1986. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for EmpiricalTesting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 808-19, September.
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