IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Exchange Rates and Fiscal Adjustments: Evidence from the OECD and Implications for EMU


  • Luisa Lambertini

    () (Boston College)

  • Jose Tavares

    () (Universidade Nova, Lisbon)


We study monetary and exchange-rate policies around successful and unsuccessful fiscal adjustments and find that successful adjustments are preceded by large nominal exchange rate depreciations, whereas unsuccessful adjustments are preceded by appreciations. Pre-adjustment depreciation is a significant and quantitatively important predictor of the success of adjustment. Our results are robust to the inclusion of other determinants of the success of adjustment and to the definition of the depreciation period, of the persistence of the adjustment, and of the exchange rate. Monetary policy does not affect the success of fiscal adjustments. This result is confirmed when the sample is divided into countries that follow a fixed exchange rate policy and those that do not: for both cases it is exchange rate depreciations that affect the likelihood of success. Our results suggest that the adoption of a single currency will make successful fiscal adjustments more difficult to attain within EMU.

Suggested Citation

  • Luisa Lambertini & Jose Tavares, 2003. "Exchange Rates and Fiscal Adjustments: Evidence from the OECD and Implications for EMU," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 576, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:576

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Perotti, Roberto & Tavares, Jose, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Scholarly Articles 12553724, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Lane, Philip R. & Perotti, Roberto, 1998. "The trade balance and fiscal policy in the OECD," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 887-895, May.
    3. Feldstein, Martin, 1982. "Government deficits and aggregate demand," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-20.
    4. Eichengreen, Barry, 1993. "European Monetary Unification," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1321-1357, September.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti & José Tavares, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 197-266.
    6. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1998. "EMU: Ready, or Not?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt8qn3v8j3, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    7. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 75-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
    9. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    10. Bertola, Giuseppe & Drazen, Allan, 1993. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 11-26, March.
    11. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1998. "The Stability Pact: more than a minor nuisance?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 65-113, April.
    12. Giavazzi, Francesco & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Searching for non-linear effects of fiscal policy: Evidence from industrial and developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1259-1289, June.
    13. Schuknecht, Ludger, 1998. "Fiscal policy cycles and the exchange regime in developing countries," WTO Staff Working Papers ERAD-97-04, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    14. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy in Good Times and Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436.
    15. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1995. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes: International Evidence and the Swedish Experience," NBER Working Papers 5332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Huixin Bi & Eric M. Leeper & Campbell Leith, 2013. "Uncertain Fiscal Consolidations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 31-63, February.
    2. Hjelm, Göran & Johansson, Martin W, 2002. "Structural Change in Fiscal Policy and The Permanence of Fiscal Contractions - The Case of Denmark and Ireland," Working Papers 2002:11, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    3. Afonso, António & Jalles, João Tovar, 2014. "Assessing fiscal episodes," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 255-270.
    4. António Afonso, 2007. "Expansionary fiscal consolidations in Europe: part of conventional wisdom?," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 50, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    5. António Afonso, 2010. "Expansionary fiscal consolidations in Europe: new evidence," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 105-109, January.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna, 2010. "Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24, pages 35-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Baldacci, Emanuele & Hillman, Arye L. & Kojo, Naoko C., 2004. "Growth, governance, and fiscal policy transmission channels in low-income countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 517-549, September.
    8. Martin Larch & Alessandro Turrini, 2011. "Received Wisdom And Beyond: Lessons From Fiscal Consolidation In The Eu," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 217(1), pages 1-18, July.
    9. Ardagna, Silvia, 2004. "Fiscal stabilizations: When do they work and why," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 1047-1074, October.
    10. Alesina, Alberto F & Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2012. "The output effect of fiscal consolidations," CEPR Discussion Papers 9105, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Athanasios Tagkalakis, 2009. "Fiscal adjustments: do labor and product market institutions matter?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 389-411, June.
    12. Benedict J. Clements & Sanjeev Gupta & Erwin H Tiongson & Emanuele Baldacci, 2003. "What Sustains Fiscal Consolidations in Emerging Market Countries?," IMF Working Papers 03/224, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Jan Hagemejer & Tomasz Jedrzejowicz & Zbigniew Zolkiewski, 2011. "Fiscal tightening after the crisis. A scenario analysis for Poland," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 42(3), pages 33-66.
    14. Sanjeev Gupta & Emanuele Baldacci & Benedict Clements & Erwin R. Tiongson, 2005. "What sustains fiscal consolidations in emerging market countries?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 307-321.
    15. Paulo Roberto Arvate & Marcos Felipe Mendes Lopes, 2007. "Institutional Changes, Incentive Schemes And The Decision To Undertake Fiscal Adjustments," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 010, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    16. Benedict J. Clements & Sanjeev Gupta & Emanuele Baldacci & Carlos Mulas-Granados, 2004. "Front-Loaded or Back-Loaded Fiscal Adjustments; What Works in Emerging Market Economies?," IMF Working Papers 04/157, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item


    Exchange Rates; Monetary Policy; Fiscal Adjustments; Economic and Monetary Union.;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • 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
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:576. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.