An empirical investigation of the relationship between government revenue and expenditure: The case of the Fiji Islands
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Purpose - Understanding the relationship between government revenue and government expenditure is important from a policy point of view, especially for a country like Fiji, which is suffering from persistent budget deficits. The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between government revenue and expenditure for Fiji. Design/methodology/approach - The Johansen test for cointegration and Granger causality test are used to conduct the empirical analysis. Findings - The key findings are that: government revenue and government expenditure in both the aggregate and disaggregate sense are cointegrated; in the short-run government expenditure Granger causes government revenue in an aggregate sense, departmental expenditure Granger causes aggregate revenue, and there is bidirectional causality running between government expenditure and customs duties; and in the long-run there is evidence of fiscal synchronization, implying that expenditure decisions are not made in isolation from revenue decisions. Research limitations/implications - This fiscal synchronization has not been able curb the current account deficit in Fiji. Moreover, the confirmation of the spend-tax attitude of the government does not bode well for the level of investments and skilled human capital in Fiji as this may perpetuate tax increases in the future. Given that the Fiji Government is currently trying to rein in the escalating level of fiscal deficit, it is an opportune time for them to engage in extensive expenditure reforms. Originality/value - The findings of this paper should allow policy makers to make informed decisions. Furthermore, the paper is different from others because apart from examining the revenue and expenditure in an aggregate sense, it also considers the different components of revenue and expenditure.
International Journal of Social Economics