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Was This Time Different?: Fiscal Policy in Commodity Republics

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  • Luis Felipe Céspedes
  • Andrés Velasco

Abstract

According to standard economic theory, fiscal policy should be countercyclical. In the neoclassical smoothing model of Barro (1979), a government should optimally run surpluses in good times and deficits in bad times. That is the same a government should do, though for different reasons, in the standard Keynesian or neo-Keynesian framework. Yet in practice governments often seem to follow a pro-cyclical fiscal policy. Cuddington (1989), Talvi and Vegh (2005) and Sinnott (2009), among others, document that governments save little or even disave in booms. Procyclicality is most evident in Latin America (Gavin et al (1996), Gavin and Perotti (1997), Stein et al (1999)) but is also present in OECD countries (Talvi and Vegh (2005), Arreaza et al (1999), Lane (2003)).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 365.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:365

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Keywords: commodity prices; optimal fiscal policy; fiscal behavior; institutions;

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References

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  1. Talvi, Ernesto & Vegh, Carlos A., 2005. "Tax base variability and procyclical fiscal policy in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 156-190, October.
  2. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Carlos A. Végh & Guillermo Vuletin, 2011. "On Graduation from Fiscal Procyclicality," NBER Working Papers 17619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Luis A. V. Catao & Ana Fostel & Sandeep Kapur, 2008. "Persistent Gaps and Default Traps," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0803, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  4. Stephan Pfaffenzeller & Paul Newbold & Anthony Rayner, 2007. "A Short Note on Updating the Grilli and Yang Commodity Price Index," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(1), pages 151-163.
  5. Ernesto Stein & Ernesto Talvi & Alejandro Grisanti, 1998. "Institutional Arrangements and Fiscal Performance: The Latin American Experience," NBER Working Papers 6358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
  7. Marco Terrones & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2008. "An Anatomy of Credit Booms," IMF Working Papers 08/226, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Andres Velasco, 1999. "A Model of Endogenous Fiscal Deficits and Delayed Fiscal Reforms," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 37-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Vegh, 2004. "When it Rains, it Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Working Papers 10780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lane, Philip R & Tornell, Aaron, 1996. " Power, Growth, and the Voracity Effect," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 213-41, June.
  11. Enrique G. Mendoza & Marco E. Terrones, 2008. "An Anatomy Of Credit Booms: Evidence From Macro Aggregates And Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 14049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Ricardo Hausmann & Alberto Alesina & Rudolf Hommes & Ernesto H. Stein, 1998. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4160, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  15. Cashin, Paul & Cespedes, Luis F. & Sahay, Ratna, 2004. "Commodity currencies and the real exchange rate," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 239-268, October.
  16. Sorensen, B.E. & Wu, L. & Yosha, O., 1999. "Output Fluctuations and Fiscal Policy: U.S. State and Local Governments 1978-1994," Papers 22-99, Tel Aviv.
  17. Grilli, Enzo R & Yang, Maw Cheng, 1988. "Primary Commodity Prices, Manufactured Goods Prices, and the Terms of Trade of Developing Countries: What the Long Run Shows," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(1), pages 1-47, January.
  18. Nina Budina & Andrea Schaechter & Anke Weber & Tidiane Kinda, 2012. "Fiscal Rules in Response to the Crisis," IMF Working Papers 12/187, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Philip R. Lane, 2002. "The Cyclical Behaviour of Fiscal Policy: Evidence from the OECD," Trinity Economics Papers 20022, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  20. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," NBER Working Papers 11600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1995. "The Terms of Trade, the Real Exchange Rate, and Economic Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(1), pages 101-37, February.
  22. Ethan Ilzetzki & Carlos A. Vegh, 2008. "Procyclical Fiscal Policy in Developing Countries: Truth or Fiction?," NBER Working Papers 14191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann & Roberto Perotti & Ernesto Talvi, 1996. "Managing Fiscal Policy in Latin America and the Caribbean: Volatility, Procyclicality, and Limited Creditworthiness," Research Department Publications 4032, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  24. Graciela L Kaminsky, 2010. "Terms of Trade Shocks and Fiscal Cycles," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Renée Fry & Callum Jones & Christopher Kent (ed.), Inflation in an Era of Relative Price Shocks Reserve Bank of Australia.
  25. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "Fiscal Policy in Oil Producing Countries During the Recent Oil Price Cycle," IMF Working Papers 10/28, International Monetary Fund.
  26. Aaron Tornell & Andres Velasco, 1995. "Fixed versus Flexible Exchange Rates: Which Provides More Fiscal Discipline?," NBER Working Papers 5108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Markus Bruckner & Rabah Arezki, 2010. "International Commodity Price Shocks, Democracy, and External Debt," IMF Working Papers 10/53, International Monetary Fund.
  28. Adriana Arreaza & Bent E. Sgrensen & Oved Yosha, 1999. "Consumption Smoothing through Fiscal Policy in OECD and EU Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 59-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Blattman, Christopher & Hwang, Jason & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Winners and losers in the commodity lottery: The impact of terms of trade growth and volatility in the Periphery 1870-1939," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 156-179, January.
  30. von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
  31. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Kose, M. Ayhan, 2002. "Explaining business cycles in small open economies: 'How much do world prices matter?'," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 299-327, March.
  33. Nese Erbil, 2011. "Is Fiscal Policy Procyclical in Developing Oil-Producing Countries?," IMF Working Papers 11/171, International Monetary Fund.
  34. Cuddington, John, 1989. "Commodity Export Booms in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 4(2), pages 143-65, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alexander Klemm, 2014. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America over the Cycle," IMF Working Papers 14/59, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Avalos, Fernando, 2014. "Do oil prices drive food prices? The tale of a structural break," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 253-271.
  3. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 2014. "Rule-Based Resource Revenue Stabilization Funds: A Welfare Comparison," Working Papers 2014-1, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

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