[Journal:] Romanian Journal of Fiscal Policy (RJFP) [ISSN:] 2069-0983 [Volume:] 2 [Year:] 2011 [Issue:] 2 [Pages:] 20-43
In the context of a society with limited resources, borrowing seems to be a desirable method that allows governments to finance the required expenditures. But government borrowing is accepted as long as it is consistent with a sound fiscal policy. Since 1923, when the concept of sound finance was brought into discussion for the first time, by J. M. Keynes, many economists have tried to investigate the issue of public debt sustainability. The hereby paper is designed to be an introductory guide in the theory and practice of fiscal sustainability. In this sense, I tried to make a compelling analysis of the evolution of the public debt among the advanced European economies. I have chosen these countries considering that European Union fiscal sustainability is still a much debated and controversial topic and that unsound fiscal policies of individual members could have adverse effects and harm other members' economies. For the purpose of this study I used annual data, spanned mostly on 1970-2012. The variables for each country have been analyzed through various methods of investigation: unit-root tests, cointegration tests and fiscal reaction function tests. The aim of this paper is therefore to investigate the evolution of the public debt and to establish how governments react to this evolution.
fiscal policy public debt solvability intertemporal budgetary constraint non-Ponzi game condition fiscal rule