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On the Properties of Various Estimators for Fiscal Reaction Functions


  • Oya Celasun
  • Joong S Kang


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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  • Oya Celasun & Joong S Kang, 2006. "On the Properties of Various Estimators for Fiscal Reaction Functions," IMF Working Papers 06/182, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/182

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Baldi, Guido & Staehr, Karsten, 2016. "The European debt crisis and fiscal reactions in Europe 2000-2014," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 297-317.
    2. Xavier Debrun, 2006. "Tying hands is not commitment: can fiscal rules and institutions really enhance fiscal discipline?," Working Papers 48, Bruegel.
    3. Tagkalakis, Athanasios, 2011. "Asset price volatility and government revenue," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2532-2543.
    4. Salvador Barrios & Diego Martínez-López, 2017. "Fiscal equalization schemes and subcentral government borrowing," Chapters,in: Central and Local Government Relations in Asia, chapter 4, pages 130-160 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Tagkalakis, Athanasios, 2013. "The effects of financial crisis on fiscal positions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 197-213.
    6. Guido Baldi & Karsten Staehr, 2013. "The European debt crisis and fiscal reaction functions in Europe 2000–2012," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2013-5, Bank of Estonia, revised 24 Jul 2013.
    7. Roberto Golinelli & Sandro Momigliano, 2008. "The cyclical response of fiscal policies in the euro area. Why do results of empirical research differ so strongly?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 654, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    8. Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Žďárek, Václav, 2017. "Fiscal reaction function and fiscal fatigue: evidence for the euro area," Working Paper Series 2036, European Central Bank.
    9. Xavier Debrun & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2007. "The Discipline-Enhancing Role of Fiscal Institutions; Theory and Empirical Evidence," IMF Working Papers 07/171, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Tagkalakis, Athanasios, 2011. "Fiscal policy and financial market movements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 231-251, January.
    11. I. Mammi, 2015. "GMM estimation of fiscal rules: Monte Carlo experiments and empirical tests," Working Papers wp1028, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    12. Jean-Louis Combes & Xavier Debrun & Alexandru Minea & Rene Tapsoba, 2014. "Inflation Targeting and Fiscal Rules; Do Interactions and Sequencing Matter?," IMF Working Papers 14/89, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item


    Domestic debt; Budget deficits; Economic models; Fiscal reaction functions; panel data; dynamic models; equation; fiscal reaction; equations; public debt; National Deficit Surplus;

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