1887

OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Estimating a Fiscal Reaction Function

The Case of Debt Sustainability in Brazil

This paper reviews recent trends in fiscal performance in Brazil, estimates fiscal reaction functions for the consolidated public sector and different levels of government, and tests for the sustainability of the public debt dynamics. The empirical analysis, based on monthly data for the period 1995-2004, suggests that all levels of government react strongly to changes in indebtedness by adjusting their primary budget surplus targets. In addition, the central government appears to follow a spend-and-tax policy: changes in revenue are affected strongly by expenditure, with about two-thirds of changes in primary spending being offset through higher revenue over the long term. Institutions are also found to matter for fiscal sustainability. The responsiveness of sub-national fiscal stance to indebtedness, as well as that of central government revenue to changes in primary spending, appears to have strengthened after 1998, when ceilings on indebtedness were introduced.

English

Keywords: fiscal reaction function, debt sustainability, fiscal rules, Brazil
JEL: H63: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt / National Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt; H62: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt / National Deficit; Surplus; E62: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook / Fiscal Policy
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