Contradicting the Twin Deficits Hypothesis: The Role of Tax Revenues Composition
The general theory of twin deficits hypothesis does not consider specific characteristics of domestic tax systems, i.e. whether the revenue side of the budget is dominated by indirect or by direct taxes. The main hypothesis of the paper is that in countries with fiscal systems dominated by indirect taxes, the deterioration of the current account balance would imply higher fiscal revenues due to larger imports and consumption. The hypothesis is based on the characteristics of domestic tax systems of Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland and Romania in which indirect tax revenues account for the majority of total budget tax revenues. Results suggest that the co-movements of the current account and the fiscal balance cannot be explained by the twin deficit theory in countries with indirect tax-oriented systems. These results imply that only the structural economic transformation and export orientation of the economy may reverse the causality direction between two deficits.
Key words: Twin deficits, Budget deficit, Current account deficit, Indirect taxes, VAR.
JEL: E62, F32, H62.