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Is the Co-Movement Between Budget Deficit and Current Account Deficit Applicable to South Africa?

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  • Naape, Baneng

Abstract

The idea of the fiscal balance to have a statistically significant impact on the current account is known as the Twin deficits hypothesis, which this study seeks to investigate. We make use of annual macroeconomic data spanning from 1990 – 2017. Additionally, we utilise novel time-series cointegration techniques such as the ARDL Bounds and Granger causality analysis. From empirical tests, we find that a long-run relationship exists between budget deficit and current account deficit. Moreover, the real effective exchange rate, real interest rate and GDP are found to have a negative and statistically significant impact on the current account whereas the budget deficit, on the contrary, is found to have a positive and statistically significant impact on the current account deficit, at least in the short-run. Granger causality test indicates unidirectional causation from budget deficit to current account deficit, lagged one period. Given these findings, we fail to reject the Twin Deficits Hypothesis within the context of South Africa. The policy implication is for the government to fix its fiscus so as to improve the current account stance. This can be achieved through extended fiscal adjustments to bring expenditure in line with revenue, thereby stabilising debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Naape, Baneng, 2019. "Is the Co-Movement Between Budget Deficit and Current Account Deficit Applicable to South Africa?," MPRA Paper 97962, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Nov 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:97962
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/97962/8/MPRA_paper_97962.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barro, Robert J, 1989. "The Ricardian Approach to Budget Deficits," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 37-54, Spring.
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    6. Yusuf Ekrem Akbaş & Fuat Lebe, 2016. "Current Account Deficit, Budget Deficit and Savings Gap: Is the Twin or Triplet Deficit Hypothesis Valid in G7 Countries?," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2016(3), pages 271-286.
    7. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    8. Kim, Soyoung & Roubini, Nouriel, 2008. "Twin deficit or twin divergence? Fiscal policy, current account, and real exchange rate in the U.S," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 362-383, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Twin deficits; Ricardian equivalence; ARDL Bounds test; Granger causality;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt

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