Budget Deficit Sustainability and Revenue Expenditure Linkages in Major South Asian Economies
Keywords:Budget Deficit Sustainability, South Asia, Cointegration, Structural Break, Panel Data.
The paper examines sustainability of budget deficits and dynamic linkages between government revenues and expenditures in five major South Asian economies, namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka and Nepal for period 1985-2014. The study contributes to the literature by combining individual-country analysis with recent panel data approaches for robustness of results. Our results support existence of long-run relationship between government revenues and expenditures for the countries in a specification allowing for unknown structural break. The size of slope parameter obtained from Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares is however significantly less than one except for Bangladesh indicating incoherence with ‘strong’ sustainability of deficits. The long run causality analysis lends support to ‘spend-tax hypothesis’ for India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Srilanka and ‘tax- spend hypothesis’ in case of Nepal. From perspective of design of fiscal consolidation programmes, this implies that adjustment of revenues would be optimal solution to control spending in Nepal while control of expenditure would be effective in case of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Srilanka. The results from Pedroni (1999) and Westerlund (2007) panel cointegration tests and block exogeniety and DumitrescuHurlin (2012) panel causality tests are broadly in conformity with the time series results.