Is fiscal policy sustainable in developing economies?

Ghatak, Subrata and Sanchez-Fung, Jose R. (2006) Is fiscal policy sustainable in developing economies? (Discussion Paper) Helsinki, Finland : Valtion taloudellinen tutkimuskeskus. 31 p. (VATT Discussion Paper, no. 384) ISBN 9515616034


This paper investigates fiscal policy sustainability in Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and Venezuela using competing methodologies. Standard unit roots and cointegration analyses do not endorse the validity of the intertemporal budget constraint. In contrast, to varying degree across-countries, alternative testing employing a fiscal policy reaction function indicates sustainability defined as surplus adjustments in response to higher debt to income ratios. Corresponding debt-dynamics analyses show that corrective measures were put in place to revert non-sustainable trends in government debt. However, ancillary variables in the debt modeling produce statistically weak evidence of procyclical fiscal behavior in the Latin American countries.

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