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Choosing the pace of fiscal consolidation

Listed author(s):
  • Łukasz Rawdanowicz

In many OECD countries debt has soared to levels threatening fiscal sustainability, necessitating its reduction over the medium to longer term. This paper proposes a stylised model, featuring endogenous interactions between fiscal policy, growth and financial markets, to highlight how economic shocks and structural features of an economy can affect consolidation strategy and resulting growth and inflation developments. The fiscal authorities are assumed to choose a consolidation path from a predetermined set of possible paths by maximising cumulative GDP growth and minimising cumulative squared output gaps, with the objective to reach a given debtto- GDP level within a finite horizon and stabilise debt afterwards under the assumption of the unchanged fiscal policy stance. Illustrative simulations for a hypothetical economy show, among other things, that by requiring debt to stabilise part of the initial adjustment can be reversed; some stepping up of the fiscal adjustment can be optimal if bond yields increase due to an exogenous shock; and for some debt reduction targets, high fiscal multipliers, hysteresis effects and higher government bond yields imply protracted deflation and large negative output gaps, stressing the need to select reasonable fiscal targets consistent with market conditions. JEL classification: E61, E62, H6 Keywords: Fiscal consolidation, sovereign debt, government budget balance, fiscal rules

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eco_studies-2013-5k3tq96mbr44
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Article provided by OECD Publishing in its journal OECD Journal: Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 2013 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 91-119

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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecokac:5k3tq96mbr44
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  1. Nathalie Girouard & Christophe André, 2005. "Measuring Cyclically-adjusted Budget Balances for OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 434, OECD Publishing.
  2. Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Rother, Philipp, 2010. "The impact of high and growing government debt on economic growth: an empirical investigation for the euro area," Working Paper Series 1237, European Central Bank.
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  9. Sebastian Barnes & Jarmila Botev & Lukasz Rawdanowicz & Jan Stráský, 2016. "Europe’s New Fiscal Rules," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 7(1).
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  14. Hansjörg Blöchliger & Dae-Ho Song & Douglas Sutherland, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 4. Case Studies of Large Fiscal Consolidation Episodes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 935, OECD Publishing.
  15. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 1. How Much is Needed and How to Reduce Debt to a Prudent Level?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 932, OECD Publishing.
  16. Romain Bouis & Boris Cournède & Ane Kathrine Christensen, 2012. "Implications of Output Gap Uncertainty in Times of Crisis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 977, OECD Publishing.
  17. Daniel S Kanda, 2011. "Modeling Optimal Fiscal Consolidation Paths in a Selection of European Countries," IMF Working Papers 11/164, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Isabell Koske & Nigel Pain, 2008. "The Usefulness of Output Gaps for Policy Analysis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 621, OECD Publishing.
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