The Characteristics of Fiscal Policy in Canada
We employ a methodology that distinguishes between discretionary and non-discretionary changes in provincial and federal fiscal policy. We find substantial variation in the discretionary policy of Canadian governments, across both time and jurisdictions. We uncover a marked asymmetry in the composition of discretionary fiscal stances. Fiscal retrenchments have tended to be dominated by a "balance" between spending cuts and tax increases, while fiscal expansions have been largely expenditure dominant. This asymmetry suggests a historic bias toward expanding the size of the public sector. The most recent fiscal retrenchment at both the federal and provincial level (1993-1996) breaks from this historical tendency by being largely expenditure dominant.
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Volume (Year): 25 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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