IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Boom–bust cycles and procyclical fiscal policy in a small open economy

  • Maravalle, Alessandro
  • Claeys, Peter

The PIGS countries have suffered economic instability and fiscal havoc in the aftermath of the Financial Crisis. We argue this is the consequence of pursuing procyclical fiscal policies. We add a fiscal rule, which varies public spending with the cycle, to an otherwise standard RBC model of a small open economy. This procyclical reaction of fiscal policy to output distorts intertemporal allocation decisions. Procyclical spending generates very volatile cycles in investment and the current account. Our model is able to replicate the relationship between the degree of cyclicality of fiscal policy and the volatility of consumption, investment and the current account we observe in OECD countries. A policy that let automatic stabilisers work can effectively smooth economic fluctuations, especially after structural reforms that raise the responsiveness of the economy.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Policy Modeling.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 735-754

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:34:y:2012:i:5:p:735-754
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," NBER Working Papers 11600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Beetsma, Roel & Giuliodori, Massimo, 2007. "On the Relationship between Fiscal Plans in the European Union: An Empirical Analysis Based on Real-Time Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Norén, Ronny, 2009. "Fiscal stability and dynamics in the Eurozone," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-57.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela & Vegh, Carlos, 2004. "When it rains, it pours: Procyclical capital flows and macroeconomic policies," MPRA Paper 13883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. King, R.G. & Rebelo, S., 1988. "Public Policy And Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," RCER Working Papers 225, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Marta Aloi & Teresa Lloyd-Braga & Hans Jørgen Whitta-Jacobsen, 2003. "Endogenous business cycles and systematic stabilization policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 895-915, 08.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1998. "Indeterminacy and Stabilization Policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 481-490, October.
  9. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2003. "Closing small open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 163-185, October.
  10. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-51, December.
  11. Tanner, Evan, 2004. "Fiscal rules and countercyclical policy: Frank Ramsey meets Gramm-Rudman-Hollings," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 719-731, September.
  12. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "Price Level Determinacy and Monetary Policy under a Balanced-Budget Requirement," Departmental Working Papers 199833, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  13. Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996. "Chaos, sunspots, and automatic stabilizers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  14. Fatas, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "Government size and automatic stabilizers: international and intranational evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 3-28, October.
  15. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-34, June.
  17. Forni, Lorenzo & Monteforte, Libero & Sessa, Luca, 2009. "The general equilibrium effects of fiscal policy: Estimates for the Euro area," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 559-585, April.
  18. António Afonso & Peter Claeys & Ricardo Sousa, 2011. "Fiscal regime shifts in Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 83-108, August.
  19. Lane, Philip R., 2003. "The cyclical behaviour of fiscal policy: evidence from the OECD," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2661-2675, December.
  20. Schuknecht, Ludger & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Sanchez Fuéntes, Jésus, 2011. "Towards Expenditure Rules and Fiscal Sanity in the Euro Area," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48693, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  21. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1996. "Factor-Hoarding and the Propagation of Business-Cycle Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1154-74, December.
  22. Andres, Javier & Domenech, Rafael & Fatas, Antonio, 2008. "The stabilizing role of government size," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 571-593, February.
  23. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
  24. Garcia, Carlos J. & Restrepo, Jorge E. & Tanner, Evan, 2011. "Fiscal rules in a volatile world: A welfare-based approach," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 649-676, July.
  25. Zvi Hercowitz & Michel Strawczynski, 2004. "Cyclical Ratcheting in Government Spending: Evidence from the OECD," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 353-361, February.
  26. Cabrales, Antonio & Hopenhayn, Hugo A., 1997. "Labor-market flexibility and aggregate employment volatility," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 189-228, June.
  27. Malley, Jim & Philippopoulos, Apostolis & Woitek, Ulrich, 2009. "To react or not? Technology shocks, fiscal policy and welfare in the EU-3," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 689-714, August.
  28. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
  29. Charles L. Evans, 1991. "Productivity shocks and real business cycles," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  30. Alessandro Turrini, 2008. "Fiscal policy and the cycle in the Euro Area: The role of government revenue and expenditure," European Economy - Economic Papers 323, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  31. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Government size and macroeconomic stability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 117-132, January.
  32. Nathalie Girouard & Christophe André, 2005. "Measuring Cyclically-adjusted Budget Balances for OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 434, OECD Publishing.
  33. Paolo Manasse, 2006. "Procyclical Fiscal Policy: Shocks, Rules, and Institutions: A View From Mars," IMF Working Papers 06/27, International Monetary Fund.
  34. Jaejoon Woo, 2009. "Why Do More Polarized Countries Run More Procyclical Fiscal Policy?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 850-870, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:34:y:2012:i:5:p:735-754. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.