Budget Deficit and External Debt in Jordan: Causality and Co-Integration Analysis

  •  Mohammed Shahateet    
  •  Fedel Al-Habashneh    
  •  Khalid Al-Majali    


This paper examines the relationship between budget deficit and external public debt in Jordan during 1992–2012. After reviewing major fiscal and monetary developments, we test for stationarity and co-integration of budget deficit and external debt. In addition, we test for the existence and direction of causality between debt and deficit. The findings of this paper provide evidence of neutrality hypotheses suggesting that there is no causality running from budget deficit to external debt and there is no causality running the other way round. Co-integration test supports the absence of long-run relationship. Empirical findings also suggest that fiscal decision makers may disregard external debt when setting budget constrains including taxes and non-interest spending. They also imply that budget constraints must rely on more important factors other than external debt when drawing fiscal policies. These factors may include good governance, tax reforms and lowering government spending on certain economic activities that have little significance on total output.

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