Macroeconomic effects of the budget deficit in the Republic of Macedonia

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Although a decade has passed since the global financial and economic crisis of 2008, the expansionary fiscal policy in Macedonia can still be felt, primarily through an increased level of public expenditures aimed at stimulation of the economic growth. From 2008 onwards, the Republic of Macedonia has continuously recorded a negative budget balance, which affects the resources allocation and the overall economic situation. The question that arises is whether such interference by the Government in the functioning of the market economy is necessary, especially having in mind the EU regulation in this area. Using a multiple regression model for the period 1996-2015, this paper examines the impact of the budget deficit on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Macedonia. Results show that the budget deficit is not a statistically significant determinant of GDP per capita, supporting thus the Ricardian equivalence theory. The analysis is conducted on the basis of statistical data from the World Bank’s database, as well as data from the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia. Household final consumption expenditure, the unemployment rate and the official exchange rate of the Macedonian Denar against the U.S. Dollar are also taken into consideration as controlling variables. GDP per capita and household final consumption expenditures are in current prices, with natural logarithms applied, whereas the other variables are in nominal terms. The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into the empirical relationship between the two main variables of interest and to initiate further discussion and analysis.

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