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Macroeconomic stabilization in developing economies: Are optimal policies procyclical?

  • Demirel, Ufuk Devrim

Many empirical studies provide evidence that macroeconomic policies as well as capital flows exhibit procyclical characteristics in developing economies. In particular Kaminsky et al. [2004. When it rains, it pours: Procyclical capital flows and macroeconomic policies. NBER Macroeconomics Annual, MIT Press] demonstrate that a large group of middle-income countries run contractionary policies and experience capital flight during times of recession. This paper investigates the role of international financial markets in explaining these macroeconomic policy and capital flow characteristics. An optimal fiscal and monetary policy problem is formulated and solved for a small-open economy that faces a country-specific interest rate spread in international financial markets. It is found that, in the presence of the country spread, optimal fiscal and monetary policies as well as capital flows are procyclical under a reasonable parametrization. Optimal policies and capital flows turn countercyclical in the absence of the country spread. This pattern is robust to a range of alternative model specifications.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 54 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 409-428

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:54:y:2010:i:3:p:409-428
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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