8,738 research outputs found

    Ricardian Equivalence: an Empirical Application to the Portugese Economy.

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    It is the purpose of this paper to focus on the consequences of the Ricardian offset to the conduct of stabilising fiscal policies. If equivalence prevails there is no scope for effective stabilising fiscal policies. A review of the theoretical requirements of Ricardian equivalence reveals that they are not likely to be fulfilled in practice. However, the brief survey of the empirical applications shows that the published empirical evidence is inconclusive. An empirical application for the Portuguese economy is carried out. The tests are based on reduced-form consumption functions and on the Euler equation approach. The overall results are ambiguous.

    Sustainability of Portuguese Fiscal Policy in Historical Perspective

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    This paper analyses the sustainability of Portuguese public finances, making use of a long dataset with more than a full century of observations. The use of such a long dataset is appropriate because both unit root and cointegration tests require a long period of data. The sustainability testing procedure is based on unit root and cointegration tests. We find considerable evidence in favour of sustainability for the 1903-2003 period. The overall conclusion of sustainability for the 1903-2003 period is not maintained for the more recent 1975-2003 period, which is characterised by the largest GDP deficit ratios of our sample. This latter period appears to signal a shift to an unsustainable path in Portuguese fiscal policy. Hence, our results suggest that fiscal consolidation efforts must, in fact, be continued in Portugal.fiscal sustainability, sustainability of public debt, intertemporal budget constraint, government deficits and debt, Portugal

    Fiscal sustainability and the accuracy of macroeconomic forecasts: do supranational forecasts rather than government forecasts make a difference?

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    Credible fiscal plans that aim at restoring fiscal sustainability will be essential to counter the present increase in debt levels all across Europe. The macroeconomic scenario of such plans will be crucial. This paper assesses whether there is any advantage in delegating (part of) such power to supra-national forecasts. The evidence on the relative performance of the European Commission‚Äôs (EC) growth forecast is rather mixed, with considerable variation at the country level. Some national government forecasts (France, Italy, and Portugal) perform worse in terms of descriptive statistics than the EC forecast for all forecast horizons. For the year ahead the EC growth forecast is better than the official forecasts for almost ¬ĺ of the EU-15 countries. All in all, since the EC forecast appears to be a good benchmark, in order to reduce the (optimistic) forecast bias, national governments could be forced to justify any large (optimistic) deviation from this benchmark when presenting their respective national stability and growth programmes.Sustainability of public debt; Fiscal policy; Stability and Growth Pact; Fiscal forecasting; forecast evaluation; real-time data.

    Output Smoothing in EMU and OECD: Can We Forego Government Contribution? A Risk Sharing Approach

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    This paper analyses the smoothing of asymmetric shocks to output for a sample of OECD countries. It also examines whether the private capital markets will be able to replace the government in providing output smoothing in the euro-area, in the near future. The research finds no evidence of large differences in the patterns of risk sharing for the 19 OECD countries, the EU-15 or euro-area countries, for the period 1970-1999. However, there were shown to be considerable differences between the euro-area and the successful monetary union of the USA: the euro-area showed a much lower insurance of asymmetric shocks than the US states. Until increasing economic integration in Europe does not lead to a substantial decrease in the incidence of idiosyncratic shocks, such shocks may impose non-negligible welfare costs.EMU, output smoothing, risk sharing, international capital markets, economic integration

    Has the Stability and Growth Pact stabilised? Evidence from a panel of 12 European countries and some implications for the reform of the Pact

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    Ever since its inception EMU has been subject to controversy. The fiscal policy rules embedded in the Treaty on European Union, and clarified in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), are probably the most contentious. The SGP is being accused of being too rigid and of forcing pro-cyclicality in fiscal policy. We test the impact of the SGP rules on the cyclical properties of fiscal policy for a panel of 12 European countries. We conclude that contrary to what might have been expected the euro fiscal rules have reinforced the counter-cyclicality of fiscal policy. However, the results also show that the SGP is not being applied symmetrically over the cycle, leading to insufficient fiscal consolidation during economic upswings. This explains the recent difficulties of Portugal, Germany and France in complying with SGP requirements. Based on these conclusions we argue for the creation of independent national technical committees that would define an appropriate deficit target on an annual basis.Fiscal policy, stabilisation, EMU, Stability and Growth Pact reform.

    Amorphous Silicon for 157nm Lithography

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    Amorphous silicon (a-Si) was investigated as a potential masking material at 157nm wavelength. Characterization of a-Si included film deposition on CaF2 (calcium fluoride) substrates through reactive sputtering, spectroscopic ellipsometry in the UV range, reflection and transmission at 157nm wavelength, and extraction of optical constants (n&k) with a commercial software package. Experimental results suggest that a-Si films deposited at RIT have similar optical constants as published values in the UV range. Simulation work suggests that a 50A silicon nitride film can be used as an anti-reflective layer to minimize reflections at the a-Si I air boundary. Consequently, silicon nitride films were also investigated in this work. Since these films (stack) must be patterned for mask applications, proper dry etch selectivity among these materials must be achieved
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