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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: https://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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  1. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  2. David W. Wilcox, 1987. "The substainability of government deficits: implications of the present- value borrowing constraint," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 77, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. 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.
  4. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
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  6. 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.
  7. James Payne, 1997. "International evidence on the sustainability of budget deficits," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(12), pages 775-779.
  8. Junsoo Lee & Mark C. Strazicich, 2004. "Minimum LM Unit Root Test with One Structural Break," Working Papers 04-17, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  9. Allan w. Gregory & Bruce E. Hansen, 1992. "residual-Based Tests for Cointegration in Models with Regime Shifts," Working Papers 862, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Martin, G.M., 1998. "U.S. Deficit Sustainability: A New Approach Based on Multiple Endogenous Breaks," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 1/98, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  12. Bennett T. McCallum, 1982. "Are Bond-Financed Deficits Inflationary? A Ricardian Analysis," NBER Working Papers 0905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. Trehan, Bharat & Walsh, Carl E, 1991. "Testing Intertemporal Budget Constraints: Theory and Applications to U.S. Federal Budget and Current Account Deficits," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 206-23, May.
  15. Haug, A.A., 1993. "Has Federal Budget Deficit Policy Changed in Recent Years?," Papers 93-8, York (Canada) - Department of Economics.
  16. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 1997. "Lag Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 369, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2000.
  17. 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.
  18. Jyh-lin Wu & Stilianos Fountas & Show-lin Chen, 1996. "Testing for the Sustainability of the Current Account Deficit in Two Industrial Countries," Working Papers 11, National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics, revised 1996.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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