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On the Properties of Various Estimators for Fiscal Reaction Functions

  • Oya Celasun
  • Joong Shik Kang
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    This paper evaluates the bias of the least-squares-with-dummy-variables (LSDV) method in fiscal reaction function estimations. A growing number of studies estimate fiscal policy reaction functions-that is, relationships between the primary fiscal balance and its determinants, including public debt and the output gap. A previously unexplored methodological issue in these estimations is that lagged debt is not a strictly exogenous variable, which biases the LSDV estimator in short panels. We derive the bias analytically to understand its determinants and run Monte Carlo simulations to assess its likely size in empirical work. We find the bias to be smaller than the bias of the LSDV estimator in a comparable autoregressive dynamic panel model and show the LSDV method to outperform a number of alternatives in estimating fiscal reaction functions.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 06/182.

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    Length: 29
    Date of creation: 01 Jul 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/182
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    1. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
    3. Jonathan David Ostry & Abdul Abiad, 2005. "Primary Surpluses and sustainable Debt Levels in Emerging Market Countries," IMF Policy Discussion Papers 05/6, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
    5. Oya Celasun & Xavier Debrun & Jonathan D. Ostry, 2006. "Primary Surplus Behavior and Risks to Fiscal Sustainability in Emerging Market Countries: A "Fan-Chart" Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(3), pages 3.
    6. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
    7. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2001. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232197, June.
    8. Taimur Baig & Abdul Abiad, 2005. "Underlying Factors Driving Fiscal Effort in Emerging Market Economies," IMF Working Papers 05/106, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Steve Bond, 2002. "Dynamic panel data models: a guide to microdata methods and practice," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    11. Favero, Carlo A., 2002. "How do European Monetary and Fiscal Authorities Behave?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. 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.
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