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Public expenditure and consumption volatility

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  • Herrera, Santiago
  • Vincent, Bruno
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    Abstract

    Recent estimates of the welfare cost of consumption volatility find that it is significant in developing nations, where it may reach an equivalent of reducing consumption by 10 percent per year. Hence, examining the determinants of consumption volatility is of utmost relevance. Based on cross-country data for the period 1960-2005, the paper explains consumption volatility using three sets of variables: one refers to the volatility of income and the persistence of income shocks; the second set of variables refers to policy volatility, considering the volatility of public spending and the size of government; while the third set captures the ability of agents to smooth shocks, and includes the depth of the domestic financial markets as well as the degree of integration to international capital markets. To allow for potential endogenous regressors, in particular the volatility of fiscal policy and the size of government, the system is estimated using the instrumental variables method. The results indicate that, besides income volatility, the variables with the largest and most robust impact on consumption volatility are government size and the volatility of public spending. Results also show that deeper and more stable domestic financial markets reduce the volatility of consumption, and that more integrated financial markets to the international capital markets are associated with lower volatility of consumption.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4633.

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    Date of creation: 01 May 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4633

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    Keywords: Economic Conditions and Volatility; Emerging Markets; Economic Stabilization; Economic Theory&Research; Currencies and Exchange Rates;

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    1. Stefano Athanasoulis & Eric van Wincoop, 1997. "Growth uncertainty and risksharing," Staff Reports 30, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    2. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov, 2003. "The Case For Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1419-1447, November.
    3. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov, 2013. "Policy Volatility, Institutions, and Economic Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 362-376, May.
    4. Norman V. Loayza & Romain Rancière & Luis Servén & Jaume Ventura, 2007. "Macroeconomic Volatility and Welfare in Developing Countries: An Introduction," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(3), pages 343-357, October.
    5. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R. & Lundblad, Christian, 2006. "Growth volatility and financial liberalization," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 370-403, April.
    6. Vasia Panousi & George-Marios Angeletos, 2007. "Revisiting the Supply-Side Effects of Government Spending Under Incomplete Markets," 2007 Meeting Papers 545, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "A new database on financial development and structure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2146, The World Bank.
    8. W. J. Henisz, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Economic Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-31, 03.
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    Cited by:
    1. Combes, Jean-Louis & Ebeke, Christian, 2011. "Remittances and Household Consumption Instability in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1076-1089, July.
    2. Combes, Jean-Louis & Ebeke, Christian Hubert & Etoundi, Sabine Mireille Ntsama & Yogo, Thierry Urbain, 2014. "Are Remittances and Foreign Aid a Hedge Against Food Price Shocks in Developing Countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 81-98.
    3. Ang, James B., 2011. "Finance and consumption volatility: Evidence from India," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 947-964, October.

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