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Sustainability Of Fiscal Deficits: The U.S. Experience 1929-2004

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  • Ananda Jayawickrama

    () (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)

  • Tilak Abeysinghe

    () (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)

Abstract

Recurrent large fiscal deficits and accumulating public debt frequently ring alarm bells around the world on the sustainability of U.S. federal fiscal policy. The present-value borrowing constraint, which states that, for the fiscal policy to be sustainable the current debt stock should match the discounted sum of expected future primary surpluses, provides a framework for analysing fiscal sustainability. Incorporating rational expectations we extend the methodology developed by Hamilton and Flavin (1986) to test the sustainability hypothesis in a cointegrating framework that can accommodate both stationary and non-stationary variables. Our model predicts dynamically diverse episodes of the debt series extremely well. Our results support the hypothesis that the U.S. government is solvent despite the large increase in the debt stock in recent years.

Suggested Citation

  • Ananda Jayawickrama & Tilak Abeysinghe, 2006. "Sustainability Of Fiscal Deficits: The U.S. Experience 1929-2004," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 05xx, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
  • Handle: RePEc:sca:scaewp:05xx
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. OG Dayaratna-Banda Ph.D & A. A. S. Priyadarshanee, 2014. "Sustainability of Government Debt in Sri Lanka," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 4(7), pages 100-108, July.
    2. Yashobanta Parida, 2012. "Causal Link between Central Government Revenue and Expenditure: Evidence for India," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 2808-2816.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal Policy Sustainability; Present-value Borrowing Constraint; Rational Expectations; Cointegration.;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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