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Fiscal Policy Reaction to the Cycle in the OECD: Pro- or Counter-cyclical?

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  • Balázs Égert

Abstract

This paper analyses the reaction of fiscal policy to the cycle in OECD countries. The results suggest that while overall government balances were counter-cyclical in the past and more so in economic downturns than in upswings, discretionary fiscal policy was neutral on average. However, discretionary fiscal policy appears to react to the cycle in a non-linear fashion: fiscal policy in countries with high public debt and high government deficits tends to be pro-cyclical, while countries that have low public debt and that have surpluses are more likely to conduct a counter-cyclical fiscal policy. The paper also finds that asset prices have a significant impact on government balances. La réaction de la politique budgétaire au cycle dans les pays de l'OCDE : A-t-elle été procyclique ou contracyclique ? Ce document analyse la réaction de la politique budgétaire au cycle dans les pays de l’OCDE. Les résultats montrent que le solde budgétaire global a été contracyclique dans le passé et encore plus en période de ralentissement économique qu’en période d’expansion, mais que les mesures budgétaires discrétionnaires ont eu en moyenne un caractère acyclique. Ce constat s’explique par les réactions non linéaires au cycle : dans les pays où la dette publique et le déficit budgétaire sont élevés, la politique budgétaire à tendance à réagir de façon procyclique au cycle, alors que dans les pays à faible dette publique et à excédent budgétaire, la politique budgétaire sera plus probablement contracyclique. Comme le montre également ce document, les plans budgétaires ne sont pas extrêmement différents des résultats budgétaires, et les prix des actifs n’ont pas un impact sensible sur le solde budgétaire.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 763.

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Date of creation: 06 May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:763-en

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Keywords: OECD countries; fiscal policy; pro-cyclicality; counter-cyclicality; contracyclique; politique budgétaire; procyclique; pays membres de l'OCDE;

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Cited by:
  1. Romain Bouis & Ane Kathrine Christensen & Boris Cournède, 2013. "Deleveraging: Challenges, Progress and Policies," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1077, OECD Publishing.
  2. Rossana Merola & Douglas Sutherland, 2013. "Fiscal Consolidation and the Implications of Social Spending for Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 4(3).
  3. Rossana Merola & Douglas Sutherland, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 3. Long-Run Projections and Fiscal Gap Calculations," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 934, OECD Publishing.
  4. Truong Nguyen, 2013. "Estimating India's Fiscal Reaction Function," ASARC Working Papers 2013-05, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  5. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 1. How Much is Needed and How to Reduce Debt to a Prudent Level?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 932, OECD Publishing.
  6. Vito Tanzi, 2011. "The Return to Fiscal Rectitude After the Recent Escapade," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 3, pages 253-277, JULY-SEPT.
  7. Christopher Reicher, 2013. "A set of estimated fiscal rules for a cross-section of countries: Stabilization and consolidation through which instruments?," Kiel Working Papers 1850, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Margit Molnar, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 5. What Factors Determine the Success of Consolidation Efforts?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 936, OECD Publishing.
  9. Balázs Égert, 2011. "Bringing French Public Debt Down: The Options for Fiscal Consolidation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 858, OECD Publishing.
  10. Åsa Johansson & Yvan Guillemette & Fabrice Murtin & David Turner & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Christine de la Maisonneuve & Guillaume Bousquet & Francesca Spinelli, 2012. "Looking to 2060: Long-Term Global Growth Prospects: A Going for Growth Report," OECD Economic Policy Papers 3, OECD Publishing.
  11. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller, 2012. "Debt and Macroeconomic Stability: An Overview of the Literature and Some Empirics," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1006, OECD Publishing.
  12. Martin Plödt & Claire Reicher, 2014. "Estimating simple fiscal policy reaction functions for the euro area countries," Kiel Working Papers 1899, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  13. Reicher, Claire, 2014. "Systematic fiscal policy and macroeconomic performance: A critical overview of the literature," Economics Discussion Papers 2014-29, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  14. Cerón, Juan A., 2012. "La respuesta de la política fiscal a la actividad económica en los países desarrollados/Fiscal policy reaction to economic activity in developed countries," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 30, pages 369 (32 pag, Abril.
  15. Daniel Kaffine & Graham A. Davis, 2013. "A simple Monte Carlo approach to examine sample robustness in growth regressions," Working Papers 2013-04, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
  16. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola & Volker Ziemann, 2012. "Debt and Macroeconomic Stability," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1003, OECD Publishing.
  17. Margit Molnár, 2012. "Fiscal consolidation: What factors determine the success of consolidation efforts?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2012(1), pages 123-149.
  18. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: How Much, How Fast and by What Means?," OECD Economic Policy Papers 1, OECD Publishing.
  19. David Turner & Francesca Spinelli, 2013. "The Effect of Government Debt, External Debt and their Interaction on OECD Interest Rates," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1103, OECD Publishing.

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