IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Analyzing the sustainability of fiscal deficitsin developing countries

  • Cuddington, John T.

The author surveys the recent literature on the sustainability of fiscal deficits, most of which focuses on the United States and other industrial countries, to see how useful it might be in developing countries. The accounting approach to analysis focuses on steady states and assumes that a fiscal deficit (or surplus) that leads to unchanging debt/GDP ratios over time is sustainable. The data required to apply this approach are relatively modest. The present-value constraint (PVC) approach assumes that the sustainability of fiscal policy depends ultimately on what level of fiscal deficit is financeable, which depends in turn on the behavior of lenders. Recent empirical implementations of this approach concentrate on methods for testing whether maintaining current fiscal policy (as captured by historical time series on government spending, revenue, and debt) violates the present-value-constraint or, equivalently, the no-Ponzi-game (NPG) condition. The econometric methods used in this literature (such as tests for the prsence of unit roots and cointegration) require long-time series over a constant fiscal regime, requirements that may be unrealistic in many countries. Typically, analyzing the sustainability of deficits in developing countries involves issues that are not particularly important in industrialized countries. Developing countries rely far more on seignorage to finance deficits, although the degree of that reliance varies greatly among countries; the simultaneous presence of both domestic and foreign-currency borrowing is central in a growing number of developing countries; and concessional lending and grants may also be an important part of fiscal finance. The author generalizes the PVC approach to economies that use money-financing of deficits, economies for which concessional financing is available, and economies that incur both domestic and foreign debt. He proposes a possible compromise in approaches: rather than use time series techniques to describe constant fiscal regimes, one can specify fiscal rules into the foreseeable future based on country-specific information about fiscal targets (perhaps as stated in IMF stabilization programs). Then one can calculate the implied time path for domestic and foreign debt, given current debt levels as initial conditions. Using this hypothesized time path for debt, one can ask whether it satisfies the no-Ponzi-game condition. If it does, fiscal policy is -by this definition- sustainable. If the NPG condition is violated, fiscal policy is unsustainable.

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: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2000/02/24/000009265_3971023104024/Rendered/PDF/multi_page.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1784.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 30 Jun 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1784
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
Email:


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.:

as in new window
  1. Woodford, Michael, 1995. "Price-level determinacy without control of a monetary aggregate," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-46, December.
  2. Abel, Andrew B, et al, 1989. "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19, January.
  3. Home, Jocelyn, 1991. "Criteria of external sustainability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1559-1574, December.
  4. Quintos, Carmela E, 1995. "Sustainability of the Deficit Process with Structural Shifts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(4), pages 409-17, October.
  5. Henning Bohn, 1991. "The sustainability of budget deficits with lump-sum and with income-based taxation," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 580-612.
  6. Stephen A. O'Connell & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Rational Ponzi Games," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 18-86, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    • O'Connell, Stephen A & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1988. "Rational Ponzi Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(3), pages 431-50, August.
  7. Barro, R.J., 1988. "Government Spending In A Simple Model Of Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 130, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Nielsen, Soren Bo, 1992. "A note on the sustainability of primary budget deficits," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 745-754.
  9. de Pinies, Jaime, 1989. "Debt sustainability and overadjustment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 29-43, January.
  10. Douglas H. Joines, 1991. "How Large A Federal Budget Deficit Can We Sustain?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 9(3), pages 1-11, 07.
  11. Willem H. Buiter & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 1992. "Government Solvency, Ponzi Finance and the Redundancy and Usefulness of Public Debt," NBER Working Papers 4076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Bohn, Henning, 1995. "The Sustainability of Budget Deficits in a Stochastic Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 257-71, February.
  13. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 785, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. Anand, Ritu & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1989. "Inflation and the Financing of Government Expenditure: An Introductory Analysis with an Application to Turkey," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 3(1), pages 17-38, January.
  15. Sheffrin, S.M. & Woo, W.T., 1989. "Present Value Tests Of An Intertemporal Model Of The Current Account," Papers 61, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  16. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E., 1977. "A study of debt servicing capacity applying logit analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 25-38, February.
  17. Bartolini, Leonardo & Cottarelli, Carlo, 1994. "Government Ponzi games and the sustainability of public deficits under uncertainty," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-22, March.
  18. Giancarlo Corsetti & Nouriel Roubini, 1991. "Fiscal Deficits, Public Debt and Government Solvency: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 3658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Corsetti, G., 1990. "Testing For Solvency Of Public Sector: An Application To Italy," Papers 617, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  20. Shaghil Ahmed & John H. Rogers, 1995. "Government budget deficits and trade deficits: are present value constraints satisfied in long-term data?," International Finance Discussion Papers 494, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Kremers, Jeroen J. M., 1988. "Long-run limits on the US Federal debt," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 259-262.
  22. James D. Hamilton & Marjorie A. Flavin, 1985. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for Empirical Testing," NBER Working Papers 1632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Rose, Andrew Kenan, 1988. " Is the Real Interest Rate Stable?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1095-1112, December.
  24. Huizinga, John & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1986. "Monetary policy regime shifts and the unusual behavior of real interest rates," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 231-274, January.
  25. 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.
  26. Claessens, Stijn & Dooley, Michael P & Warner, Andrew, 1995. "Portfolio Capital Flows: Hot or Cold?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(1), pages 153-74, January.
  27. Trehan, Bharat & Walsh, Carl E, 1991. "Testing Intertemporal Budget Constraints: Theory and Applications to U.S. Federal Budget and Current Account Deficits," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 206-23, May.
  28. Tanner, Evan & Liu, Peter, 1994. "Is the Budget Deficit "Too Large"?: Some Further Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 511-18, July.
  29. Ghosh, Atish R, 1995. "Intertemporal Tax-Smoothing and the Government Budget Surplus: Canada and the United States," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1033-45, November.
  30. McCallum, Bennett T, 1984. "Are Bond-Financed Deficits Inflationary? A Ricardian Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 123-35, February.
  31. A. J. Makin, 1989. "Is the Current Account Deficit Sustainable?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 22(2), pages 29-33.
  32. Hakkio, Craig S & Rush, Mark, 1991. "Is the Budget Deficit "Too Large?"," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 429-45, July.
  33. Nadeem U. Haque & Peter J. Montiel, 1993. "Fiscal Adjustment in Pakistan: Some Simulation Results," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(2), pages 471-480, June.
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:wbk:wbrwps:1784. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)

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.