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Public Debt and Private Consumption in OECD countries

Author

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  • Gogas, Periklis

    () (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of International Economic Relations and Development)

  • Papadimitriou, Theophilos

    () (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of International Economic Relations and Development)

  • Plakandaras, Vasilios

    () (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of International Economic Relations and Development)

Abstract

The recent ceiling of U.S. federal debt and the European sovereign debt crises raised once again the interest upon balanced government budgets. The Ricardian Equivalence proposition appears as an attractive alternative for policy makers, since postponing taxes to be paid once growth is restored seems a very efficient scheme that relieves public discomfort. This paper attempts to investigate the long-run relationship between public debt and private consumption in order to test for the potential validity of the Ricardian equivalence proposition. We use a wide dataset of fifteen OECD countries using annual data for the period 1980–2010. For the empirical estimation we employ both a univariate time series and a panel cointegration approach. Our empirical findings fail to provide empirical evidence in support of the Ricardian equivalence proposition for all countries of the sample, since the assumptions proposed by theory cannot be fulfilled.

Suggested Citation

  • Gogas, Periklis & Papadimitriou, Theophilos & Plakandaras, Vasilios, 2013. "Public Debt and Private Consumption in OECD countries," DUTH Research Papers in Economics 1-2013, Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics, revised 20 Feb 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:duthrp:2013_001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Becker, Torbjörn, 1995. "Government Debt and Private Consumption: Theory and Evidence," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 71, Stockholm School of Economics.
    3. 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 1057-1072, June.
    4. Kostas Drakos, 2001. "Testing the Ricardian Equivalence Theorem: Time Series Evidence from Greece," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 149-160, June.
    5. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    6. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501.
    7. Evans, Paul & Hasan, Iftekhar, 1994. "Are consumers Ricardian? Evidence for Canada," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 25-40.
    8. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-247, April.
    9. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-1580, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:dug:actaec:y:2016:i:5:p:266-278 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:joecas:v:15:y:2017:i:c:p:17-31 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ricardian Equivalence; Consumption; Debt; VAR models; VEC models; Response function; Variance decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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