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Fiscal policy: a strong macroeconomic role

  • Philip Arestis

    (University of Cambridge)

Current macroeconomics, the ‘New Consensus Macroeconomics’, downgrades significantly the role of fiscal policy as a stabilisation instrument of macroeconomic policy. This paper argues that fiscal policy deserves to be properly upgraded. More recent theoretical and empirical developments on the fiscal policy front are closely examined. This examination reveals that these developments lead to the conclusion that fiscal policy is not as ineffective as argued by the ‘New Consensus Macroeconomics’ proponents. On the contrary, it has a strong macroeconomic role. It is also the case that, in view of the ‘Great Recession’, financial stability has been shown to be very important in economic policy but had been ignored prior to it. The paper argues strongly that fiscal policy is actually a strong macroeconomic stabilisation instrument, especially so when it is coordinated not only with monetary policy but also and closely with financial stability policies – with such coordination-embracing income distribution. Fiscal policy should thereby be restored to its proper upgraded role in terms of economic policy. It is, therefore, high time economists and economic policymakers turned their attention more closely and seriously to this aspect and restored fiscal policy to its strong macroeconomic role.

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File URL: http://www.elgaronline.com/view/journals/roke/0-1/roke.2012.01.06.xml
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Article provided by Edward Elgar Publishing in its journal Review of Keynesian Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2012)
Issue (Month): 0 ()
Pages: 93-108

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Handle: RePEc:elg:rokejn:v:0:y:2012:i:1:p93-108
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elgaronline.com/roke

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Trebbi, 2006. "Who Adjusts and When? On the Political Economy of Reforms," NBER Working Papers 12049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Douglas Laxton & Dirk V Muir & Michael Kumhof & Susanna Mursula & Charles Freedman, 2009. "Fiscal Stimulus to the Rescue? Short-Run Benefits and Potential Long-Run Costs of Fiscal Deficits," IMF Working Papers 09/255, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna, 2010. "Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24, pages 35-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2008. "A critical reconsideration of the foundations of monetary policy in the new consensus macroeconomics framework," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(5), pages 761-779, September.
  5. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 960-992.
  6. Michael Kumhof & Dirk V Muir & Carlos de Resende & Jan in ‘t Veld & René Lalonde & Davide Furceri & Annabelle Mourougane & John Roberts & Stephen Snudden & Mathias Trabandt & Günter Coenen & Susan, 2010. "Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models," IMF Working Papers 10/73, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2009. "Empirical evidence on the aggregate effects of anticipated and unanticipated US tax policy shocks," Working Paper Research 181, National Bank of Belgium.
  8. Davig, Troy & Leeper, Eric M., 2009. "Monetary-Fiscal Policy Interactions and Fiscal Stimulus," CEPR Discussion Papers 7509, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Eric M. Leeper & Alexander W. Richter & Todd B. Walker, 2010. "Quantitative Effects of Fiscal Foresight," NBER Working Papers 16363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Trebbi, 2006. "Who Adjusts and When?The Political Economy of Reforms," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(si), pages 1.
  12. Manmohan S. Kumar & Dennis P Botman, 2006. "Fundamental Determinants of the Effects of Fiscal Policy," IMF Working Papers 06/72, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  14. Anja Baum & Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro & Anke Weber, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers and the State of the Economy," IMF Working Papers 12/286, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Michael Woodford, 2010. "Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier," NBER Working Papers 15714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2010. "Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9111, 06-2016.
  18. Alvaro Angeriz & Philip Arestis, 2007. "Assessing Inflation Targeting Through Intervention Analysis," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 87, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  19. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
  20. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2008. "Are the European Central Bank and Bank of England Macroeconomic Models Consistent with the New Consensus in Macroeconomics?," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 11(2), pages 51-68, Winter.
  21. Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2012. "Measuring Tax Multipliers: The Narrative Method in Fiscal VARs," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 69-94, May.
  22. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2012. "The ‘new economics’ and policies for financial stability," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2), pages 147-160, October.
  23. Eric M. Leeper & Alexander W. Richter & Todd B. Walker, 2012. "Corrigendum: Quantitative Effects of Fiscal Foresight," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 283-283, August.
  24. Linnemann, Ludger & Schabert, Andreas, 2003. " Fiscal Policy in the New Neoclassical Synthesis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 911-29, December.
  25. Tatiana Kirsanova & Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2009. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction: The Current Consensus Assignment in the Light of Recent Developments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(541), pages F482-F496, November.
  26. Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2000. "The Limits to Discretionary Fiscal Stabilization Policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 92-105, Winter.
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