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What do we really know about fiscal sustainability in the EU? A panel data diagnostic

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  • Christophe Rault

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  • Antonio Alfonso

Abstract

We assess the sustainability of public finances in the EU15 over the period 1970-2006 using stationarity and cointegration analysis. Specifically, we use panel unit root tests of the first and second generation allowing in some cases for structural breaks. We also apply modern panel cointegration techniques developed by Pedroni (1999, 2004), generalized by Banerjee and Carrion-i-Silvestre (2006) and Westerlund and Edgerton (2007), to a structural long-run equation between general government expenditures and revenues. While estimations point to fiscal sustainability being an issue in some countries, fiscal policy was sustainable both for the EU15 panel set, and within sub-periods (1970-1991 and 1992-2006)

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  • Christophe Rault & Antonio Alfonso, 2007. "What do we really know about fiscal sustainability in the EU? A panel data diagnostic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp893, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2007-893
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    Keywords

    intertemporal budget constraint; fiscal sustainability; EU; panel unit root; panel cointegration;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • 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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