Monetary vs. Fiscal Policy: An Empirical Investigation in Tanzania, 1966–2013
Keywords:fiscal dominance, monetary policy, economic growth, autoregressive, distributed lag model
This study examines the relative importance of fiscal and monetary policy on economic growth in Tanzania by using quarterly time series data for the period 1966: I to 2013: IV. The hypotheses tested are that fiscal rather than monetary policy tools exert a relatively stronger and larger influence on economic activity; and the impact of fiscal policy is more predictable than that of monetary policy. The analysis was based on the original and a modified St. Louis equation in the form of a Distributed Lag Model estimated by using the Restricted Vector Autoregressive (VAR) model and Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) technique. The study finds that monetary policy tools, measured by money supply, had a relatively stronger, larger and predictable impact on economic growth than fiscal policy, measured by government expenditure. Also, the shocks associated with changes in money supply were larger than the shocks due to changes in fiscal policy. However, over the short-run the shock due to changes in fiscal policy on economic activity was larger; and that of monetary policy was larger over the long-run. The estimation results suggest that the modified St. Louis equation was more superior to its original form. The results suggest the relative dominance of monetary over fiscal policy, implying that stabilization policy can be successfully pursued by the former rather than the latter
policy. However, either of the policy should not be used exclusively because even fiscal policy is found to have an effect on growth, at least over the short-run period.
JEL Classification: E31, E37