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Fiscal multipliers over the growth cycle : evidence from Malaysia

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  • Rafiq, Sohrab
  • Zeufack, Albert
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    Abstract

    This paper explores the stabilisation properties of fiscal policy in Malaysia using a model incorporating nonlinearities into the dynamic relationship between fiscal policy and real economic activity over the growth cycle. The paper also investigates how output multipliers for government purchases may alter for different components of government spending. The authors find that fiscal policy in Malaysia has become increasingly pro-cyclical over the last 25 years and establish that the size of fiscal multipliers tend to change over the growth cycle. A 1 Malaysian Ringgit rise in government (investment) spending leads to a maximum output multiplier of around 2.7 during growth recessions, and around 2 in normal times. The returns to government spending in Malaysia are greater when the focus is on public investment, as opposed to consumption. Changes in tax policy are less effective in stimulating economic activity than direct government spending. These results provide empirical backing to conjectures in the recent literature implying that procyclicality in fiscal policy reduces the effectiveness of fiscal actions in emerging markets.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5982.

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    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5982

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    Keywords: Debt Markets; Consumption; Public Sector Expenditure Policy; Economic Theory&Research; Public Sector Economics;

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    1. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Eric Sims & Ruediger Bachmann, 2011. "Confidence and the Transmission of Government Spending Shocks," 2011 Meeting Papers 83, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Gulasekaran Rajaguru & Tilak Abeysinghe, 2004. "Quarterly real GDP estimates for China and ASEAN4 with a forecast evaluation," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 431-447.
    4. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78 - 121.
    5. Takatoshi Ito & Andrew K. Rose, 2007. "Fiscal Policy and Management in East Asia, NBER-EASE, Volume 16," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_07-1.
    6. Shu-Chun S. Yang & Todd B. Walker & Eric M. Leeper, 2010. "Government Investment and Fiscal Stimulus," IMF Working Papers 10/229, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Evi Pappa, 2005. "New-keynesian or RBC transmission? The effects of fiscal shocks in labour markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 524, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Markus Kirchner & Jacopo Cimadomo & Sebastian Hauptmeier, 2010. "Transmission of Government Spending Shocks in the Euro Area: Time Variation and Driving Forces," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-021/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. Tagkalakis, Athanasios, 2008. "The effects of fiscal policy on consumption in recessions and expansions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1486-1508, June.
    10. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why Is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Working Papers 297, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    11. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 16311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Weise, Charles L, 1999. "The Asymmetric Effects of Monetary Policy: A Nonlinear Vector Autoregression Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 85-108, February.
    13. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
    14. Ward Romp & Jakob de Haan, 2007. "Public Capital and Economic Growth: A Critical Survey," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(s1), pages 6-52, 04.
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