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Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Stability: New Evidence and Policy Implications

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  • Xavier Debrun

    ()
    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Radhicka Kapoor

    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

The paper revisits the empirical link between fiscal policy and macroeconomic stability. Our basic presumption is that by definition, the operation of automatic stabilizers should always and everywhere contribute to greater macroeconomic stability (output and consumption). However, two stylized facts seem at odds with that prediction. First, the moderating effect of automatic stabilizers appears to have weakened in advanced economies between the mid-1990s and 2006 (the end of our main sample). Second, automatic stabilizers do not seem to be effective in developing economies. Our analysis addresses these apparent puzzles by accounting for the government’s ambivalent role as a shock absorber and a shock inducer for determinants of macroeconomic volatility over time. Results provide strong support for the view that fiscal stabilization operates mainly through automatic stabilizers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Instituto de Economía y Finanzas in its journal Revista de Economía y Estadística.

Volume (Year): XLVIII (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 69–101

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Handle: RePEc:ief:reveye:v:48:y:2010:i:2:p:69-101

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Related research

Keywords: Economic stabilization; Fiscal policy; Fiscal stability.;

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References

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  1. Beetsma, Roel & Debrun, Xavier & Klaassen, Franc, 2001. "Is Fiscal Policy Coordination in EMU Desirable?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 1999. "Government Size and Automatic Stabilizers: International and Intranational Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Andres, Javier & Domenech, Rafael & Fatas, Antonio, 2008. "The stabilizing role of government size," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 571-593, February.
  4. António Afonso & Luca Agnello & Davide Furceri, 2008. "Fiscal Policy Responsiveness, Persistence, and Discretion," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 659, OECD Publishing.
  5. Xavier Debrun & Jean Pisani-Ferry & Andr� Sapir, 2008. "Government size and output volatility: should we forsake automatic stabilization?," European Economy - Economic Papers 316, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  6. Crowe, Christopher & Meade, Ellen E., 2008. "Central bank independence and transparency: Evolution and effectiveness," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 763-777, December.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Filipe R. Campante & Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1006-1036, 09.
  8. Julia Darby & Jacques Melitz, 2008. "Social spending and automatic stabilizers in the OECD," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 23, pages 715-756, October.
  9. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Steven A. Symansky & Thomas Baunsgaard, 2009. "Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers," IMF Staff Position Notes 2009/23, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Xavier Debrun & Radhicka Kapoor, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Stability:Automatic Stabilizers Work, Always and Everywhere," IMF Working Papers 10/111, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Helge Berger & Ulrich Woitek, 2005. "Does Conservatism Matter? A Time-Series Approach to Central Bank Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 745-766, 07.
  13. Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Automatic stabilizers and economic crisis: US vs. Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 279-294.
  14. Xavier Debrun & David Hauner & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2009. "Independent Fiscal Agencies," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 44-81, 02.
  15. Dirk Muir & Douglas Laxton & Dennis P. J. Botman & Andrei Romanov, 2006. "A New-Open-Economy Macro Model for Fiscal Policy Evaluation," IMF Working Papers 06/45, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Alberto Alesina, 2000. "The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 3-19, Summer.
  17. Bouthevillain, C. & Van Den Dool, G. & Langenus, G. & Mohr, M. & Momigliano, S. & Tujula, M. & De Cos, P.H., 2001. "Cyclically Adjusted Budget Balances: an Alternative Approach," Papers 77, Quebec a Montreal - Recherche en gestion.
  18. Bennett Sutton & Luis Catão, 2002. "Sovereign Defaults: The Role of Volatility," IMF Working Papers 02/149, International Monetary Fund.
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