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Cosimo Magazzino
''Fiscal Policy, Consumption and Current Account in the European Countries''
( 2012, Vol. 32 No.2 )
This paper explores the relationship between fiscal deficit, trade deficit and private consumption in European countries in the years 1970-2010. The aim of the study is to test empirically the validity and rationale of the Keynesian proposition (conventional view or Twin Deficits hypothesis) and the Ricardian Equivalence hypothesis, as well as to analyze the relationship between fiscal policy and private consumption. The empirical findings of our study show mixed results. In fact, static panel data estimates suggest that a one per cent increase in fiscal deficit/GDP ratio tends to deteriorate the current account/GDP ratio of 0.21 per cent, although it increases the private consumption of 0.21 per cent. Furthermore, the dynamic estimates largely depend on the estimator chosen, since the GMM-Dif estimates show a significant effect of fiscal deficit both on trade balance and on private consumption, in line with TD hypothesis; on the contrary, GMM-Sys estimator suggests that these effects are irrelevant, supporting RE hy-pothesis. With regard to the former estimates, we observed that each euro rise in fiscal deficit is associated, on average, with a 22 cents decline in the current account, while the estimated rise in private consumption is smaller (11 cents). Finally, Granger causality tests show mixed results.
Keywords: Fiscal Policy, Ricardian Equivalence, Twin Deficits, Panel
JEL: F4 - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance: General
H6 - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt: General
Manuscript Received : Jan 10 2012 Manuscript Accepted : May 01 2012

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