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Twin deficits and the Feldstein-Horioka puzzle: a comparison of the EU member states and candidate countries

  • Aristovnik, Aleksander
  • Djurić, Sandra

The paper’s main objective is to investigate the empirical link between the fiscal balance and the current account (i.e. the twin deficits phenomenon). The paper focuses on the EU member states and candidate countries which are according to their different (e.g. historical, political, economical and geographical) characteristics divided into two major groups, i.e. old EU member states (EU15) and new EU member states and candidate countries (EU12+3) in the 1995-2008 period. Additionally, the importance of the so-called Feldstein-Horioka puzzle in the considered countries is examined in order to draw some conclusions about the regions’ integration with international capital markets. The empirical results suggest that budget deficits in the EU member states and candidate countries have generally signaled relatively high level of substitutability between private and public savings, implying a relatively low correlation between fiscal and external imbalances. Thus, the empirical results in general reject the validity of the twin deficit hypothesis. Finally, the paper provides evidence of a relatively higher level of capital mobility, especially in the EU12+3 region in the second sub-period (2004-2008).

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24149.

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Date of creation: 29 Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24149
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  1. M. Faizul Islam, 1998. "Brazil's twin deficits: An empirical examination," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 26(2), pages 121-128, June.
  2. António AFONSO & Christophe RAULT, . "What do we Really Know About Fiscal Sustainability in the EU? A Panel Data Diagnostic," EcoMod2008 23800000, EcoMod.
  3. Nickel, Christiane & Vansteenkiste, Isabel, 2008. "Fiscal policies, the current account and Ricardian equivalence," Working Paper Series 0935, European Central Bank.
  4. Daniel Levy, 2003. "Is the Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle Really a Puzzle?," Working Papers 2003-02, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "The Ricardian Approach to Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 2685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. António Afonso, 2006. "Sustainability of fiscal policy in the EU-15," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(1), pages 34-38, 04.
  7. Bussière, Matthieu & Fratzscher, Marcel & Müller, Gernot J., 2004. "Current accounts dynamics in OECD and EU acceding countries - an intertemporal approach," Working Paper Series 0311, European Central Bank.
  8. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  9. Herrmann, Sabine & Jochem, Axel, 2005. "Determinants of current account developments in the central and east European EU member states - consequences for the enlargement of the euro area," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,32, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  10. António Afonso & Christophe Rault, 2009. "Budgetary and External Imbalances Relationship: A Panel Data Diagnostic," CESifo Working Paper Series 2559, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Carlos Marinheiro, 2006. "Ricardian Equivalence, Twin Deficits, and the Feldstein-Horioka puzzle in Egypt," GEMF Working Papers 2006-07, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  12. George Vamvoukas, 1999. "The twin deficits phenomenon: evidence from Greece," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(9), pages 1093-1100.
  13. dumludag, devrim, 2007. "An analysis of the determinants of foreign direct investment in Turkey: the role of the institutional context," MPRA Paper 32060, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2008.
  14. Aleksander Aristovnik, 2006. "How Excessive are External Imbalances in Selected Transition Countries?," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2006(3), pages 243-267.
  15. Jesus Crespo Cuaresma & Gerhard Reitschuler, 2007. "Is the Ricardian Equivalence Proposition an 'Aerie Fairy' Theory for Europe?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 682-694, November.
  16. Aristovnik, Aleksander & Berčič, Boštjan, 2007. "Fiscal Sustainability in Selected Transition Countries," MPRA Paper 122, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferrett & Assaf Razin, 1996. "Sustainability of Persistent Current Account Deficits," NBER Working Papers 5467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jarko Fidrmuc, 2003. "The Feldstein–Horioka Puzzle and Twin Deficits in Selected Countries," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 135-152, June.
  19. Kearney, Colm & Monadjemi, Mehdi, 1990. "Fiscal policy and current account performance: International evidence on the twin deficits," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 197-219.
  20. Michael M. Hutchison & Nirvikar Singh, 1993. "Long-term international capital mobility: new evidence from equilibrium real interest rate linkages," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 93-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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