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Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes Versus Spending

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  • Alberto F. 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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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15438.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Publication status: published as Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending , Alberto Alesina, Silvia Ardagna. in Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24 , Brown. 2010
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15438

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  1. Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto, 1998. "Tales of Fiscal Adjustment," Scholarly Articles 2579822, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," NBER Working Papers 9006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Ardagna, Silvia, 2004. "Fiscal Stabilizations: When Do They Work and Why," Scholarly Articles 2580047, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Mountford, Andrew & Uhlig, Harald, 2002. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Roberto Perotti & Massimo V. Rostagno & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "Electoral System and Public Spending," IMF Working Papers 01/22, International Monetary Fund.
  12. 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.
  13. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Perotti, Roberto & Tavares, Jose, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Scholarly Articles 12553724, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Lambertini, Luisa & Tavares, Jose, 2002. "Exchange Rates and Fiscal Adjustments: Evidence from the OECD and Implications for EMU," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp412, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  15. Ardagna, Silvia, 2004. "Fiscal stabilizations: When do they work and why," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 1047-1074, October.
  16. 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.
  17. Robert F. Westcott & C. John McDermott, 1996. "An Empirical Analysis of Fiscal Adjustments," IMF Working Papers 96/59, International Monetary Fund.
  18. 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.
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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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