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Are All Summary Indicators of the Stance of Fiscal Policy Misleading?

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  • G. A. Mackenzie

    (International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

Two recent criticisms of summary fiscal indicators are appraised: first, that they and the conventionally measured public sector balances from which they are derived are not sufficiently broadly defined; second, that they are meaningless because they do not reflect changes in the distribution of wealth between generations. The paper concludes that the defects of summary fiscal indicators have been exaggerated. It is not feasible to include all changes in public sector net worth in the deficit, and the existence of liquidity constraints and aversion to indebtedness imply that conventionally measured public sector deficits are not irrelevant.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Staff Papers - International Monetary Fund.

Volume (Year): 36 (1989)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 743-770

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Handle: RePEc:pal:imfstp:v:36:y:1989:i:4:p:743-770

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Cited by:
  1. van der Eng, Pierre, 1992. "Measuring fiscal stance for the United Kingdom, 1920-1990," MPRA Paper 38284, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Jul 2012.
  2. Léonce Ndikumana, 2002. "Public Debts and Private Assets:Explaining Capital Flight from Sub-Saharan African Countries," Working Papers, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst wp32, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  3. Signe Krogstrup, 2002. "Should We Pay Attention to Indicators of Fiscal Impact on Demand?," IHEID Working Papers, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies 01-2002, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  4. Fischer, Stanley, 1993. "The role of macroeconomic factors in growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
  5. Garabed Minassian, 2003. "Macroeconomic Policy: Rules versus Discretion," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 7, pages 3-25.
  6. Stanley Fischer, 1992. "Macroeconomic Stability and Growth," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 29(87), pages 171-186.
  7. Alfonso Arpaia & Alessandro Turrini, 2008. "Government expenditure and economic growth in the EU: long-run tendencies and short-term adjustment," European Economy - Economic Papers, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission 300, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  8. Martin Larch & Matteo Salto, 2003. "Fiscal rules, inertia and discretionary fiscal policy," European Economy - Economic Papers, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission 194, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

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