Peut-on recourir à la politique budgétaire ? Est-ce souhaitable ?
In recent years, a case has been made against the use of fiscal policy for stabilization purposes. Real business cycle theory, which portrays the economy as being in global intertemporal equilibrium, concludes that fiscal policy is useless, while the Ricardian equivalence hypothesis concludes that it is neutral. Both arguments are however not empirically well founded. Nevertheless, political-economy considerations convincingly suggest that discretionary fiscal stabilization might well be inappropriate. However, automatic fiscal stabilizers are a valuable policy instruments and the trend observed in recent years, at least in the US and UK, of weakening them should be reversed. One may even think of reinforcing the automatic stabilizing effect of the tax system by making some tax rates vary automatically with economic activity.
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