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Fiscal Policy Throughout the Cycle: The Colombian Experience

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  • Ignacio Lozano

    ()

  • Jorge Toro

    ()

Abstract

This paper reviews the relationship between the business cycle and public finances in Colombia. The evidence shows that cyclical movements in output systematically affect the situation of public finances. Hence, the distinction between the cyclical and permanent (i.e. structural) components of the fiscal balance may allow fiscal authorities to determine the extent to which the fiscal stance in a particular year reflects their discretionary actions. Our findings indicate that the cyclical component of the central government balance in Colombia has in general been fairly small. For instance, during the recession and recovery period 1999-2003, the cyclical component attained, on average, -0,5% of the GDP which explained only 8% of the actual overall deficit. More recently in 2006, the cyclical component amounted to +0,8% of the GDP, equivalent to 17% of the actual fiscal imbalance. Governments are not usually neutral during the business cycle. Ideally, they ought to practice a counter-cyclical fiscal policy to moderate the magnitude of output fluctuations. However, in emerging economies, counter-cyclical fiscal policies are inhibited by domestic and external factors, such as credit restrictions, quality of institutions, fiscal rules, corruption, voracity effect, etc. Using a standard approach we find that fiscal policy in Colombia has been pro-cyclical over the last 45 years or so, with the primary surplus falling (and the deficit rising) as a share of GDP by approximately 1/5th of a percentage point when the output gap improves by one percentage point.

Suggested Citation

  • Ignacio Lozano & Jorge Toro, 2007. "Fiscal Policy Throughout the Cycle: The Colombian Experience," Borradores de Economia 434, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:434
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    13. Luis Ignacio Lozano & Carolina Aristizabal, 2003. "Déficit Público y Desempeño Económico en los Noventa: El Caso Colombiano," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002257, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan José Echavarría & Andrés González, 2012. "Choques internacionales reales y financieros y su impacto sobre la economía colombiana," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 30(69), pages 14-66, Diciembre.
    2. Daude, Christian & Melguizo, Ángel & Neut, Alejandro, 2011. "Fiscal policy in Latin America: Countercyclical and sustainable?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 5, pages 1-29.
    3. Ignacio Lozano Espitia & Karen Rodríguez, 2009. "Assessing the Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 005386, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    4. Juan Carlos Parra Alvarez, 2008. "Hechos Estilizados de la Economía Colombiana:Fundamentos Empíricos para la Construcción y Evaluación de un Modelo DSGE," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 004602, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    5. Ignacio Lozano & Hernán Rincón & Miguel Sarmiento & Jorge Ramos, 2008. "Regla fiscal cuantitativa para consolidar y blindar las finanzas públicas de Colombia," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 10(19), pages 311-352, July-Dece.
    6. Jeronimo Zettelmeyer & Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, 2008. "Fiscal Positions in Latin America; Have They Really Improved?," IMF Working Papers 08/137, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Lavan Mahadeva & Javier Gómez Pineda, 2009. "The international cycle and Colombian monetary policy," Borradores de Economia 557, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    8. Ignacio Lozano & Karen Rodríguez, 2011. "Assessing the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy in Colombia," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 206-228, August.
    9. Luis Ignacio Lozano, 2011. "Caracterización macro de la política fiscal en Colombia y postura frente a la crisis global (2008-2009)," REVISTA CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA, UN - RCE - CID, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal Policy; Business Cycle; Stabilization; Deficit; Budget. Classification JEL: E62; E32; E63; H62; H61.;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems

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