IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Budget Deficit and Economic Performance: A Survey

The relationship between budget deficits and macroeconomic variables (such as growth, interest rates, trade deficit, exchange rate, among others) represents one of the most widely debated topics among economists and policy makers in both developed and developing countries. However, the purpose of this paper is to examine the extensive literature to such a relationship, concentrating on theoretical debates, empirical studies, and econometric models in order to derive substantive conclusions, which can be beneficial in terms of macroeconomics area or in terms of constructing or developing a macroeconomic model for analysing the impact of budget deficits on macroeconomic variables. The majority of these studies regress a macroeconomic variable on the deficit variable. These studies are cross-country and utilise time series data. In general the key outcomes from the studies presented in this paper indicated that both the method of financing and the components of government expenditures could have different effects. Therefore, it is crucial to distinguish between current and capital expenditure when evaluating the impact of fiscal policy on private investment and output growth. Even though, the overall results from the empirical literature with respect to the impact of public investment on private investment and growth are ambiguous, the bulk of the empirical studies finds a significantly negative effect of public consumption expenditure on growth, while the effects of public investment expenditure are found to be positive although less robust. The key outcome from all of the studies presented in this paper which investigating the relationship between the budget deficit and current account deficit showed strong evidence in both developed and developing countries towards supporting the Keynesian proposition (conventional view) which suggests that an increase in the budget deficit would induce domestic absorption and, hence import expansion, causing a current account deficit. Furthermore, it can also be concluded from the empirical findings that the effects of budget deficits on exchange rates depends on the way of funding the deficits, whether through taxation or through money growth. The key findings from the empirical studies investigating the relationship between the budget deficit and interest rates indicated strong evidence towards supporting the Keynesian model of a significant and positive relationship between budget deficits and interest rates. The major outcomes from the empirical studies examining the relationship between budget deficits and inflation showed strong evidence that the budget deficit financed through monetisation and a rising money supply could lead to inflation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp03-12.

in new window

Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp03-12
Contact details of provider: Postal:
School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia

Phone: +612 4221-3659
Fax: +612 4221-3725
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
  2. Metin, Kivilcim, 1995. "An Integrated Analysis of Turkish Inflation," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(4), pages 513-531, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp03-12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Siminski)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.