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Economic stabilization in the post-crisis world: Are fiscal rules the answer?

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  • Bergman, U. Michael
  • Hutchison, Michael

Abstract

We investigate whether fiscal rules help to reduce the extent of policy procyclicality—how government expenditure policy responds to GDP-- in a dynamic panel framework with 81 advanced, emerging and developing countries over 1985–2012. We construct two new fiscal rule indices and investigate whether rules help to dampen procyclical policies. We condition our empirical specifications on the degree to which governments appear able to manage and enforce fiscal rules. We find that fiscal rules are very effective in reducing procyclicality of policy once a minimum threshold of government efficiency/quality has been reached. Government efficiency alone is not enough to reduce procyclicality of fiscal policy. However, high government efficiency combined with strong fiscal rules is a potent combination facilitating counter-cyclical policy responses to GDP movements.

Suggested Citation

  • Bergman, U. Michael & Hutchison, Michael, 2015. "Economic stabilization in the post-crisis world: Are fiscal rules the answer?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 82-101.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:52:y:2015:i:c:p:82-101
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jimonfin.2014.11.014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Beetsma, Roel & Debrun, Xavier & Sloof, Randolph, 2017. "The political economy of fiscal transparency and independent fiscal councils," CEPR Discussion Papers 12181, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Guerguil, Martine & Mandon, Pierre & Tapsoba, René, 2017. "Flexible fiscal rules and countercyclical fiscal policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 189-220.
    3. Combes, Jean-Louis & Minea, Alexandru & Sow, Moussé, 2017. "Is fiscal policy always counter- (pro-) cyclical? The role of public debt and fiscal rules," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 138-146.
    4. Fosu, Samuel & Danso, Albert & Ahmad, Wasim & Coffie, William, 2016. "Information asymmetry, leverage and firm value: Do crisis and growth matter?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 140-150.
    5. Paret, Anne-Charlotte, 2017. "Debt sustainability in emerging market countries: Some policy guidelines from a fan-chart approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 26-45.
    6. Kuusi, Tero, 2018. "Does the structural budget balance guide fiscal policy pro-cyclically? Evidence from the Finnish Great Depression of the 1990s," MPRA Paper 84829, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:beo:journl:v:62:y:2017:i:212:p:7-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00229 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Bergman, U. Michael & Hutchison, Michael M. & Jensen, Svend E. Hougaard, 2016. "Promoting sustainable public finances in the European Union: The role of fiscal rules and government efficiency," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-19.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal rules; Government efficiency; Policy procyclicality;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

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