Tax and spend or spend and tax? Empirical evidence from Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland
The paper examines empirically the relationship between government revenues and expenditures in four European countries: Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal. In relative terms all four may be considered as the poorest members of the European Union. Yet, they present a fairly diverse picture as far as their macroeconomic performance and fiscal position is concerned. The empirical findings from cointegration and causality tests that are reported here indicate that in the case of Greece and Ireland tax and spending decisions are taken simultaneously by the fiscal authority, the tax-and-spend hypothesis is supported in the case of Spain, while absence of any causal ordering between government expenditure and tax revenues has been established for Portugal.