Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Is there a Role for an Active Fiscal Stabilization Policy?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Torben Andersen
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This paper discusses the need and scope for an active fiscal stabilization policy. It is argued that the effectiveness of fiscal policy as a short run stabilizer does not depend on the long run multipliers of (balanced budget) fiscal policies. To the extent that activity can be affected by aggregate demand in the short run, there is a case for a fiscal stabilization policy in terms of temporary variations in taxes or public consumption contingent on the state of the economy. The effectiveness of fiscal policy is supported by empirical evidence. However, an appropriate policy intervention depends both on the nature of the shock and the structure of the economy. There are thus fundamental information problems in pursuing discretionary fiscal policies on top of political economy concerns, and fiscal fine-tuning is not to be recommended. Automatic stabilizers do not to the same extent suffer from these problems, but their strength is not by design but the net result of other policy considerations. Hence, there is a need to consider the structure and size of automatic stabilizers.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-04/cesifo1_wp1447.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1447.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1447

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich
    Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
    Fax: +49 (89) 985369
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.cesifo.de
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: shocks; insurance; adjustment failures; rules; discretion and fiscal policy;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:
    as in new window
    1. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 2001. "Global Implications of Self-Oriented National Monetary Rules," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C01-120, University of California at Berkeley.
    2. 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.
    3. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1988. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfection: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Dixon, Huw David & Rankin, Neil, 1994. "Imperfect Competition and Macroeconomics: A Survey," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 171-99, April.
    5. Alan J. Auerbach & Daniel Feenberg, 2000. "The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers," NBER Working Papers 7662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Svensson, Lars E O & Woodford, Michael, 2004. "Implementing Optimal Policy Through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 4229, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Thomas J. Kniesner & James P. Ziliak, 2002. "Tax Reform and Automatic Stabilization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 590-612, June.
    8. Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," Papers 646, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    9. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M, 1995. "Output Dynamics in Real-Business-Cycle Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 492-511, June.
    10. Alan J. Auerbach, 2003. "Fiscal Policy, Past and Present," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 75-138.
    11. Dixon, Huw & Lawler, Phillip, 1996. " Imperfect Competition and the Fiscal Multiplier," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(2), pages 219-31, June.
    12. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2002. "The Case for Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," CEPR Discussion Papers 3277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. 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.
    17. Dixon, Huw, 1987. "A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition with Walrasian Features," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 134-60, March.
    18. Gordon, Roger H. & Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 185-202, November.
    19. Andersen, Torben M & Dogonowski, Robert R, 2002. "Social Insurance and the Public Budget," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(275), pages 415-31, August.
    20. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
    21. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Portier, Franck, 1993. "Money, New-Keynesian macroeconomics and the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1533-1568, December.
    22. Schiantarelli, Fabio & Perotti, Roberto & Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto, 2002. "Fiscal Policy, Profits, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4685103, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    23. Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 2000. "The automatic fiscal stabilizers: quietly doing their thing," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 35-67.
    24. Laurence Seidman, 2001. "Reviving Fiscal Policy," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 44(3), pages 17-42, May.
    25. Bertola, Giuseppe & Drazen, Allan, 1993. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 11-26, March.
    26. Lane, Philip R., 2001. "The new open economy macroeconomics: a survey," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 235-266, August.
    27. Andersen, Torben M. & Holden, Steinar, 2002. "Stabilization policy in an open economy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 293-312, September.
    28. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
    29. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
    30. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1988. "Imperfect competition and the Keynesian cross," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 7-13.
    31. Andersen, Torben M & Spange, Morten, 2002. "International Interdependencies in Fiscal Stabilization Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 3580, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    32. Sarantis, Nicholas & Stewart, Chris, 2003. "Liquidity constraints, precautionary saving and aggregate consumption: an international comparison," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1151-1173, December.
    33. Khalid Sekkat & Marco Buti & Carlos Martinez-Mongay & Paul van den Noord, 2003. "Automatic fiscal stabilisers in EMU: a conflict between efficiency and stabilization?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7354, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    34. Susan Dynarski & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Can Families Smooth Variable Earnings?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 229-303.
    35. Christopher Pissarides, 1997. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages : the role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2332, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    36. Jonathan Gruber, 1994. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    37. King, R.G. & Baxter, M., 1990. "Fiscal Policy In General Equilibrium," RCER Working Papers 244, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    38. John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
    39. Marston, Richard C., 1985. "Stabilization policies in open economies," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 859-916 Elsevier.
    40. Richard C. Marston, 1983. "Stabilization Policies in Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 1117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. Selma Mahfouz & Richard Hemming & Michael Kell, 2002. "The Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy in Stimulating Economic Activity," IMF Working Papers 02/208, International Monetary Fund.
    42. Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2002. "Fiscal Policy, Profits, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 3353756, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    43. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
    44. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
    45. Roberto Ricciuti, 2003. "Assessing Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 55-78, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Gösta Ljungman, 2008. "Expenditure Ceilings: A Survey," IMF Working Papers 08/282, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Thomas Beissinger, 2006. "Neue Anforderungen an eine gesamtwirtschaftliche Stabilisierung," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 277/2006, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
    3. Francesco Furlanetto & Martin Seneca, 2007. "Rule-of-thumb consumers, productivity and hours," Working Paper 2007/05, Norges Bank.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1447. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.