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The Economic Transmission of Fiscal Policy Shocks from Western to Eastern Europe

  • Jesús Crespo Cuaresma


    (Vienna University of Economics and Business, Institute for Fiscal and Monetary Policy)

  • Markus Eller


    (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Foreign Research Division)

  • Aaron Mehrotra


    (Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition)

This paper studies the transmission of a foreign fiscal policy shock (assumed to be generated in Germany) to key macroeconomic variables in five Central and Eastern European economies (CEE-5). We use quarterly data from 1995 to 2009 and estimate an open economy structural vector autoregressive (SVAR) model identified by imposing reasonable restrictions on contemporaneous responses in the system. Our model is able to identify well-known episodes of fiscal policy action in the countries under review. We find that a foreign fiscal shock affects domestic fiscal variables and vice versa, which highlights the importance of cross-country coordination of fiscal policies within the EU. All the CEE-5 respond to a fiscal expansion abroad with fiscal easing at home (more strongly on the public spending than on the revenue side). We find negative cross-border fiscal spillovers for Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, while in Poland and Hungary, output reacts positively to a fiscal expansion in Germany. For domestic fiscal shocks, which we also explore, we find Keynesian responses in Hungary and Slovakia, while non-Keynesian responses are present in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia. Our results imply that “one-size-fits-all” policy recommendations would be too simplistic for the CEE-5; a deeper understanding of the reasons for cross-country differences in response to fiscal shocks is required to be able to provide adequate information to policymakers in these countries.

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Article provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its journal Focus on European Economic Integration.

Volume (Year): (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 44-68

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Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfi:y:2011:i:2:b:1
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