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Effectiveness of Countercyclical Fiscal Policy: Time-Series Evidence from Developing Asia

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Author Info

  • Jha, Shikha

    (Asian Development Bank)

  • Mallick, Sushanta

    (Asian Development Bank)

  • Park, Donghyun

    (Asian Development Bank)

  • Quising, Pilipinas

    (Asian Development Bank)

Abstract

As the global crisis hit developing Asia, several countries instituted fiscal stimulus measures to create domestic demand. With the region returning to normal times, in this paper we draw lessons using historical data from 10 developing Asian countries to examine if countercyclical fiscal policy can still be used to stimulate growth. To do so, we use a sign-restrictions-based structural vector autoregression model. We find that expansionary expenditure shocks have an insignificant effect on output but contractionary revenue shocks have a negative effect. On the basis of those estimated effects, we perform and compare two policy experiments: deficit-financed tax cuts and deficit spending. The experiment results indicate that while deficit-financed tax cuts stimulate economic activity, the impact of deficit spending is ambiguous. Our overall evidence thus suggests that tax cuts may be a more effective countercyclical policy instrument than government spending. However, a number of factors suggest that Asian governments should be cautious about actively using tax cuts for countercyclical purposes, in part because a big part of the revenue shocks in developing Asia are cyclical rather than discretionary.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Asian Development Bank in its series ADB Economics Working Paper Series with number 211.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbewp:0211

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Related research

Keywords: Fiscal policy shocks; tax cuts; government expenditure; business cycles; economic growth; Asia;

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Cited by:
  1. Tang, Hsiao Chink & Liu, Philip & Cheung, Eddie C., 2010. "Changing Impact of Fiscal Policy on Selected ASEAN Countries," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration, Asian Development Bank 70, Asian Development Bank.
  2. Wong, Chi Shing, 2012. "A Quantitative Study of Hong Kong's Fiscal Policy," MPRA Paper 41431, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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