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A new test for deficit sustainability and its application to US data

  • Hatzinikolaou, Dimitris
  • Simos, Theodore

In this paper, we define deficit sustainability by requiring formally that both the discounted debt vanish asymptotically and the undiscounted debt be bounded. Thus, a new necessary condition and a new testing procedure emerge. We propose a new test statistic and prove that its limiting distribution is standard normal, N(0, 1). Its finite- sample distribution differs from N(0, 1), however, mainly because it has fat tails, so we derive empirical critical values using simulations. Using the new test and United States (US) quarterly data, the conclusions of three earlier papers that fail to reject the sustainability of the US budget or current-account deficit are reversed.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/45393/1/MPRA_paper_45393.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 45393.

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Date of creation: 14 Aug 2011
Date of revision: 17 Jan 2012
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:45393
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  3. McCallum, Bennett T, 1984. "Are Bond-Financed Deficits Inflationary? A Ricardian Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 123-35, February.
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  6. Wilcox, David W, 1989. "The Sustainability of Government Deficits: Implications of the Present-Value Borrowing Constraint," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(3), pages 291-306, August.
  7. Tanner, Evan & Liu, Peter, 1994. "Is the Budget Deficit "Too Large"?: Some Further Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 511-18, July.
  8. Hakkio, Craig S & Rush, Mark, 1991. "Is the Budget Deficit "Too Large?"," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 429-45, July.
  9. Gregory, Allan W & Hansen, Bruce E, 1996. "Tests for Cointegration in Models with Regime and Trend Shifts," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(3), pages 555-60, August.
  10. Junsoo Lee & Mark C. Strazicich, 2003. "Minimum Lagrange Multiplier Unit Root Test with Two Structural Breaks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1082-1089, November.
  11. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001. "LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
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  13. Gael M. Martin, 2000. "US deficit sustainability: a new approach based on multiple endogenous breaks," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 83-105.
  14. Xiao, Zhijie & Phillips, Peter C. B., 1998. "Higher-order approximations for frequency domain time series regression," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 297-336, June.
  15. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
  16. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  17. Jyh-lin, Wu & Fountas, Stilianos & Show-lin, Chen, 1996. "Testing for the sustainability of the current account deficit in two industrial countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 193-198, August.
  18. Haug, Alfred A, 1995. "Has Federal Budget Deficit Policy Changed in Recent Years?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(1), pages 104-18, January.
  19. Husted, Steven, 1992. "The Emerging U.S. Current Account Deficit in the 1980s: A Cointegration Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 159-66, February.
  20. Quintos, Carmela E, 1995. "Sustainability of the Deficit Process with Structural Shifts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(4), pages 409-17, October.
  21. Wu, Jyh-Lin & Chen, Show-Lin & Lee, Hsiu-Yun, 2001. "Are current account deficits sustainable?: Evidence from panel cointegration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 219-224, August.
  22. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
  23. Bharat Trehan & Carl E. Walsh, 1988. "Testing intertemporal budget constraints: theory and applications to U. S. federal budget and current account deficits," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 88-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  24. Mark J. Holmes, 2006. "How Sustainable Are Oecd Current Account Balances In The Long Run?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 74(5), pages 626-643, 09.
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