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The Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Policy in Portugal: a Bayesian SVAR Analysis

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  • António Afonso
  • Ricardo M. Sousa

Abstract

In the last twenty years Portugal struggled to keep public finances under control, notably in containing primary spending. We use a new quarterly dataset covering 1979:1-2007:4, and estimate a Bayesian Structural Autoregression model to analyze the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy. The results show that positive government spending shocks, in general, have a negative effect on real GDP; lead to important “crowding-out” effects, by impacting negatively on private consumption and investment; and have a persistent and positive effect on the price level and the average cost of financing government debt. Positive government revenue shocks tend to have a negative impact on GDP; and lead to a fall in the price level. The evidence also shows the importance of explicitly considering the government debt dynamics in the model. Finally, a VAR counter-factual exercise confirms that unexpected positive government spending shocks lead to important “crowding-out” effects..

Suggested Citation

  • António Afonso & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2009. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Policy in Portugal: a Bayesian SVAR Analysis," Working Papers Department of Economics 2009/09, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp92009
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    B-SVAR; fiscal policy; debt dynamics; Portugal.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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