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Fiscal Policy, Business Cycles and Economic Stabilisation: Evidence from Industrialised and Developing Countries

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  • Young Lee
  • Taeyoon Sung

Abstract

This paper empirically investigates the responsiveness of fiscal policy to business cycles and the effectiveness of fiscal policy in reducing economic fluctuations. From regressions on the responsiveness of fiscal policy to business cycles, we find that the government's current expenditures and subsidies & transfers move counter-cyclically, whereas taxes and capital expenditures move pro-cyclically. Using economic fluctuations in neighbouring countries as an instrumental variable, we show that ordinary least squares (OLS) estimates understate the responsiveness of fiscal policy to economic fluctuations. We also find that fiscal policy responds asymmetrically over economic fluctuations. In investigating the effectiveness of fiscal policy in reducing economic fluctuations, we mitigate omitted variable bias by adding four important factors - military expenditures, oil production, economic fluctuations in neighbouring countries and fiscal policy responsiveness to business cycles. The results of effectiveness regressions are consistent with the responsiveness regressions, highlighting the importance of current expenditures, especially subsidies and transfers, in responding to business cycles and stabilising the economy. Copyright 2007 Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Young Lee & Taeyoon Sung, 2007. "Fiscal Policy, Business Cycles and Economic Stabilisation: Evidence from Industrialised and Developing Countries," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(4), pages 437-462, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:28:y:2007:i:4:p:437-462
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    Cited by:

    1. Sean J. Gossel & Nicholas Biekpe, 2013. "The Cyclical Relationships Between South Africa's Net Capital Inflows and Fiscal and Monetary Policies," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(2), pages 64-83, March.
    2. Heinrich, Tobias & Kobayashi, Yoshiharu & Bryant, Kristin A., 2016. "Public Opinion and Foreign Aid Cuts in Economic Crises," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 66-79.
    3. Jan Veld & Martin Larch & Marieke Vandeweyer, 2013. "Automatic Fiscal Stabilisers: What They Are and What They Do," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 147-163, February.
    4. repec:bla:pbudge:v:37:y:2017:i:4:p:111-133 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Leon du Toit, 2009. "Economic Crises, Stabilisation Policy and Output in Emerging Market Economies," Working Papers 20/2009, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    6. Manuel Benazic & Daniel Tomic, 2014. "The evaluation of fiscal and monetary policy in Croatia over a business cycle," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 75-99.
    7. Pinaki Chakraborty & Bharatee Bhusana Dash, 2017. "Fiscal Reforms, Fiscal Rule, and Development Spending: How Indian States Have Performed?," Public Budgeting & Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 111-133, December.
    8. Makkonen, Teemu, 2013. "Government science and technology budgets in times of crisis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 817-822.
    9. Carlo Cottarelli & Annalisa Fedelino, 2010. "Automatic Stabilizers and the Size of Government; Correcting a Common Misunderstanding," IMF Working Papers 10/155, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Young Lee & Changyong Rhee & Taeyoon Sung, 2006. "Fiscal policy in Korea: Before and after the financial crisis," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(4), pages 509-531, August.
    11. Martin Fochmann & Martin Jacob, 2011. "Behavioral Explanation of Tax Asymmetries," FEMM Working Papers 110021, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    12. Jesús Ferreiro & Carmen Gómez & Felipe Serrano, 2013. "Mistakes in the Fiscal Policy in Spain before the Crisis," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(5), pages 577-592, September.
    13. Gregory Thwaites, 2006. "Optimal emerging market fiscal policy when trend output growth is unobserved," Bank of England working papers 308, Bank of England.

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