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Country Heterogeneity and the International Evidence on the Effects of Fiscal Policy


  • Carlo Favero
  • Francesco Giavazzi
  • Jacopo Perego


This paper argues that the richer frequency and variety of fiscal policy shocks available in an international sample, which makes the use of this evidence attractive, should be analyzed recognizing the heterogeneity that exists across different countries. The main conclusion of the authors’ empirical analysis is that the question “what is the fiscal policy multiplier” is an ill-posed one. There is no unconditional fiscal policy multiplier. The effect of fiscal policy on output is different depending on the different debt dynamics, the different degree of openness, and the different fiscal reaction functions across different countries. Such differences concern not only the size of the multiplier, but sometimes also its sign. There are many fiscal multipliers and an average fiscal multiplier is of very little use to describe the effect of exogenous shifts in fiscal policy on output.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi & Jacopo Perego, 2011. "Country Heterogeneity and the International Evidence on the Effects of Fiscal Policy," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 59(4), pages 652-682, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfecr:v:59:y:2011:i:4:p:652-682

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Francesco Giavazzi & Michael McMahon, 2012. "The Household Effects of Government Spending," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 103-141 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Yanos Zylberberg & Francesco Pappada, 2014. "Austerity plans and tax evasion : theory and evidence from Greece," 2014 Meeting Papers 1031, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Alari PaulusBy & Francesco Figari & Holly Sutherland, 2017. "The design of fiscal consolidation measures in the European Union: distributional effects and implications for macro-economic recovery," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 632-654.
    5. Alexander Chudik & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2016. "Theory And Practice Of Gvar Modelling," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 165-197, February.
    6. Theofilakou, Nancy & Stournaras, Yannis, 2012. "Government solvency and financial markets: Dynamic panel estimates for the European Monetary Union," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 130-133.
    7. A. S. Benetrix & P. R. Lane, 2013. "Fiscal Shocks and the Real Exchange Rate," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(3), pages 6-37, September.
    8. Javier Andrés & José Emilio Boscá & Javier Ferri, 2011. "Household Leverage and Fiscal Multipliers," Working Papers 1103, International Economics Institute, University of Valencia.
    9. Gabriela Lopes de Castro & Ricardo Mourinho Félix & Paulo Júlio & José R. Maria, 2013. "Fiscal multipliers in a small euro area economy: How big can they get in crisis times?," Working Papers w201311, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
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    12. Jair N. Ojeda-Joya & Oscar E. Guzman, 2017. "The Size of Fiscal Multipliers and the Stance of Monetary Policy in Developing Economies," Working Papers 106, Institute of Empirical Economic Research, Osnabrueck University.
    13. Virkola, Tuomo, 2014. "Exchange Rate Regime, Fiscal Foresight and the Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy in a Small Open Economy," ETLA Reports 20, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    14. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "On Measuring the Effects of Fiscal Policy in Recessions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 703-718, September.
    15. Kuckuck, Jan & Westermann, Frank, 2014. "On the size of fiscal multipliers: A counterfactual analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 26-32.
    16. María Lorena Marí del Cristo & Marta Gómez-Puig, 2013. "“Fiscal sustainability and fiscal shocks in a dollarized and oil-exporting country: Ecuador”," IREA Working Papers 201306, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2013.
    17. Alesina, Alberto & Favero, Carlo & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2015. "The output effect of fiscal consolidation plans," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(S1), pages 19-42.
    18. Dinca Gheorghita & Dinca Marius Sorin & Popione Catalina, 2016. "Analyzing Fiscal Balance Evolution for Developed and Emerging Countries," Scientific Annals of Economics and Business, De Gruyter Open, vol. 63(3), pages 299-310, November.
    19. Pablo Hernández de Cos & Enrique Moral-Benito, 2016. "Fiscal multipliers in turbulent times: the case of Spain," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1589-1625, June.
    20. Matteo Fragetta & Roberto Tamborini, 2017. "It’s not austerity. Or is it? Assessing the effect of austerity on growth in Europe, 2010-15," DEM Working Papers 2017/10, Department of Economics and Management.
    21. Manos Matsaganis & Chrysa Leventi, 2014. "Distributive Effects of the Crisis and Austerity in Seven EU Countries," ImPRovE Working Papers 14/04, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    22. Ricci-Risquete, Alejandro & Ramajo, Julián, 2015. "The effects of fiscal policy on the Spanish economy: Keynesian or non-Keynesian behavior?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1019-1048.
    23. Francesco Giavazzi & Michael McMahon, 2012. "The Households Effects of Government Consumption," NBER Working Papers 17837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:506-524 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Markus Eller & Martin Feldkircher & Florian Huber, 2017. "How would a fiscal shock in Germany affect other European countries? Evidence from a Bayesian GVAR model with sign restrictions," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 54-77.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General


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