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Why fiscal regimes matter for fiscal sustainability analysis: an application to France

Listed author(s):
  • Pierre Aldama

    (Université de Paris-1, PSE)

  • Jérôme Creel

    (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)

This paper introduces a Regime-Switching Model-Based Sustainability test allowing for periodic (or local) violations of Bohn (1998, QJE)’s sustainability condition. We assume a Markov-switching fiscal policy rule whose parameters stochastically switch between sustainable and unsustainable regimes. We demonstrate that long-run fiscal sustainability not only depends on regime-specific feedback coefficients of the fiscal policy rule but also on the average durations of fiscal regimes. Evidence on French data suggests that the No-Ponzi game condition weakly holds in the long run, when accounting for regime switches. Accounting for a potential fiscal limit, we test whether estimated Markov-switching fiscal policy rule fulfills a debt-stabilizing condition depending on two measures of the interest rate on public debt. With the average apparent rate, fiscal data rejects the null hypothesis of an explosive public debt-to-GDP ratio. Still, we are unable to reject it using the average market rate, thus suggesting unstable dynamics of the public debt-to-GDP ratio.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number 2016-15.

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Date of creation: May 2016
Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/8g1v863ou8ne8avs9kr75pav8
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  1. Creel, Jerome & Bihan, Herve Le, 2006. "Using structural balance data to test the fiscal theory of the price level: Some international evidence," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 338-360, June.
  2. Betty Daniel & Christos Shiamptanis, 2008. "Fiscal Policy in the European Monetary Union," Discussion Papers 08-11, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  3. Bettina Fincke & Alfred Greiner, 2012. "How to assess debt sustainability? Some theory and empirical evidence for selected euro area countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(28), pages 3717-3724, October.
  4. Marcel Aloy & Gilles Dufrénot & Anne Péguin-Feissolle, 2014. "Is financial repression a solution to reduce fiscal vulnerability? The example of France since the end of World War II," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(6), pages 629-637, February.
  5. Troy Davig, 2005. "Periodically expanding discounted debt: a threat to fiscal policy sustainability?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(7), pages 829-840.
  6. Bi, Huixin, 2012. "Sovereign default risk premia, fiscal limits, and fiscal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 389-410.
  7. Blot, Christophe & Ducoudré, Bruno & Timbeau, Xavier, 2016. "Sovereign debt spread and default in a model with self-fulfilling prophecies and asymmetric information," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 47(PB), pages 281-299.
  8. Hamilton, James D & Flavin, Marjorie A, 1986. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for EmpiricalTesting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 808-819, September.
  9. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2001. "Is the Price Level Determined by the Needs of Fiscal Solvency?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1221-1238, December.
  10. Christian Schoder, 2014. "The fundamentals of sovereign debt sustainability: evidence from 15 OECD countries," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 247-271, May.
  11. Wickens, M. R. & Uctum, Merih, 1993. "The sustainability of current account deficits : A test of the US intertemporal budget constraint," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 423-441, May.
  12. Ghosh, Atish R. & Ostry, Jonathan D. & Qureshi, Mahvash S., 2013. "Fiscal space and sovereign risk pricing in a currency union," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 131-163.
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