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Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending

In: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24

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  • Alberto Alesina
  • Silvia Ardagna

Abstract

We examine the evidence on episodes of large stances in fiscal policy, both in cases of fiscal stimuli and in that of fiscal adjustments in OECD countries from 1970 to 2007. Fiscal stimuli based upon tax cuts are more likely to increase growth than those based upon spending increases. As for fiscal adjustments, those based upon spending cuts and no tax increases are more likely to reduce deficits and debt over GDP ratios than those based upon tax increases. In addition, adjustments on the spending side rather than on the tax side are less likely to create recessions. We confirm these results with simple regression analysis.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Jeffrey R. Brown, 2010. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brow09-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11970.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11970

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto & Trebbi, Francesco, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," Scholarly Articles 4481498, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Roberto Perotti & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2000. "Fiscal Policy, Profits, and Investment," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 504, Boston College Department of Economics.
    3. C. John McDermott & Robert F. Wescott, 1996. "An Empirical Analysis of Fiscal Adjustments," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(4), pages 725-753, December.
    4. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
    5. von Hagen, Jurgen & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Strauch, Rolf, 2002. "Budgetary Consolidation in Europe: Quality, Economic Conditions, and Persistence," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 512-535, December.
    6. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2005. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-039, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    7. Giuseppe Bertola & Allan Drazen, 1991. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," NBER Working Papers 3844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sutherland, Alan, 1995. "Fiscal Crises and Aggregate Demand: Can High Public Debt Reverse the Effects of Fiscal Policy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Ardagna, Silvia, 2004. "Fiscal Stabilizations: When Do They Work and Why," Scholarly Articles 2580047, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    10. Roberto Perotti & Massimo V. Rostagno & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "Electoral System and Public Spending," IMF Working Papers 01/22, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto, 1998. "Tales of Fiscal Adjustment," Scholarly Articles 2579822, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    12. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 75-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Giavazzi, Francesco & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Searching for Non-Linear Effects of Fiscal Policy: Evidence from Industrial and Developing Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2374, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Ardagna, Silvia, 2004. "Fiscal stabilizations: When do they work and why," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 1047-1074, October.
    16. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Perotti, Roberto & Tavares, Jose, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Scholarly Articles 12553724, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    17. Luisa Lambertini & Jose Tavares, 2003. "Exchange Rates and Fiscal Adjustments: Evidence from the OECD and Implications for EMU," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 576, Boston College Department of Economics.
    18. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti & José Tavares, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 197-266.
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    1. Recovery paradigms: Fiscal consolidation or infrastructure spending?
      by Vuk Vukovic in Don't worry, I'm an economist on 2012-09-10 12:05:00
    2. Austérité : Dans la peau de John Malkovich
      by Benjamin Ting in Economiam on 2013-06-30 16:31:00
    3. Austérité : Dans la peau de John Malkovich
      by Benjamin Ting in Economiam on 2013-06-30 16:31:00
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