Macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy changes: A case of South Africa
This study develops comprehensive full-sector macro-econometric models for the South African economy with the aim of explaining and providing the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy changes in the country. The models are applied to test the effectiveness of fiscal policy actions in an economic environment with existing structural supply constraints versus demand-side constraints and also to detect which components of the fiscal would be more effective in stabilising the economy. Based on the structure of the South African economy and the framework presented, the study concludes that the South African economy can be characterised as one which is embedded with structural supply constraints. Thus, a model which is suitable for policy analyses of the South African economy needs to capture the long-run supply-side characteristics of the economy. A price block is incorporated to specify the price adjustment between the supply-side sector and real aggregate demand sector. The models are estimated with time-series data from 1970 to 2011, capturing both the long-run and short-run dynamic properties of the economy. The results from the series of fiscal policy scenarios suggest that fiscal policy actions are more effective in an economic environment with limited or no supply constraints. Fiscal expansion or consolidation that comes more from government spending changes will be more effective in an economic environment where structural supply constraints are absent while tax revenue changes will be more effective in an economic environment where there exist major structural supply constraints.
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