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Fiscal consolidation in the euro area: long-run benefits and short-run costs

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  • Coenen, Günter
  • Mohr, Matthias
  • Straub, Roland

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the macroeconomic effects of alternative fiscal consolidation policies in the New Area-Wide Model (NAWM), a two-country open-economy model of the euro area developed at the European Central Bank (cf. Coenen et al., 2007). We model fiscal consolidation as a permanent reduction in the targeted government debt-to-output ratio and analyse both expenditure and revenue-based policies that are implemented by means of simple fiscal feedback rules. We find that fiscal consolidation has positive long-run effects on key macroeconomic aggregates such as output and consumption, notably when the resulting improvement in the budgetary position is used to lower distortionary taxes. At the same time, fiscal consolidation gives rise to noticeable short-run adjustment costs in contrast to what the literature on expansionary fiscal consolidations suggests. Moreover, depending on the fiscal instrument used, fiscal consolidation may have pronounced distributional effects. JEL Classification: E32, E62

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0902.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20080902

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Keywords: euro area; fiscal consolidation; Fiscal Policy; Keywords: DSGE modelling; limited asset-market participation;

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  1. Coenen, Günter & McAdam, Peter & Straub, Roland, 2007. "Tax reform and labour-market performance in the euro area: a simulation-based analysis using the New Area-Wide Model," Working Paper Series 0747, European Central Bank.
  2. Tamim Bayoumi & Douglas Laxton & Paolo Pesenti, 2004. "Benefits and spillovers of greater competition in Europe: a macroeconomic assessment," Staff Reports 182, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of two Small Euopean Countries," Working Papers 89, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  4. Doris Prammer, 2004. "Expansionary Fiscal Consolidations? An Appraisal of the Literature on Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy and a Case Study for Austria," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 34–52.
  5. Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Caselli & Timothy Lane, 2004. "Fiscal Discipline and the Cost of Public Debt Service: Some Estimates for OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 10788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ivan Tchakarov & Roland Straub, 2007. "Assessing the Impact of a Change in the Composition of Public Spending," IMF Working Papers 07/168, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Dirk Muir & Paolo A. Pesenti, 2007. "Smooth Landing or Crash? Model-Based Scenarios of Global Current Account Rebalancing," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 377-456 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Günter Coenen & Roland Straub, 2005. "Does Government Spending Crowd in Private Consumption? Theory and Empirical Evidence for the Euro Area," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 435-470, December.
  9. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2002. "Understanding the effects of government spending on consumption," Economics Working Papers 911, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2005.
  10. Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto, 1998. "Tales of Fiscal Adjustment," Scholarly Articles 2579822, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Richard Morris & Hedwig Ongena & Ludger Schuknecht, 2006. "The reform and implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," Occasional Paper Series 47, European Central Bank.
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  13. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna, 1998. "Tales of fiscal adjustment," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 13(27), pages 487-545, October.
  14. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2006. "SIGMA: a new open economy model for policy analysis," International Finance Discussion Papers 835, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Thomas Laubach, 2009. "New Evidence on the Interest Rate Effects of Budget Deficits and Debt," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 858-885, 06.
  16. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
  17. Straub, Roland & Tchakarov, Ivan, 2007. "Assessing the impact of a change in the composition of public spending: a DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0795, European Central Bank.
  18. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy In Good Times And Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436, November.
  19. Noriaki Kinoshita, 2006. "Government Debt and Long-Term Interest Rates," IMF Working Papers 06/63, International Monetary Fund.
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