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Government size and output volatility: should we forsake automatic stabilisation?

Listed author(s):
  • Xavier Debrun
  • Jean Pisani-Ferry
  • André Sapir

In this working paper, Xavier Debrun, Jean Pisani-Ferry and André Sapir explore the relationships between government size and output volatility. Whilst government size contributes to macroeconomic stabilisation, the slow down in output volatility of the 1980s and 90s was due more to a combination of monetary policy improvements and financial developments. That this decline was especially pronounced in small-government countries showed a reduction in the variance of primary income was more important than government transfers and that other channels of stabilisation were available for small-government countries. For most countries in the euro area, the impact of a marginal change in the size of government is bound to be small.

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Paper provided by Bruegel in its series Working Papers with number 47.

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Date of creation: Mar 2008
Handle: RePEc:bre:wpaper:47
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  1. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-1151, December.
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  3. Fatas, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "Government size and automatic stabilizers: international and intranational evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 3-28, October.
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  9. Christina D. Romer, 1999. "Changes in Business Cycles: Evidence and Explanations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
  10. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  11. Marco Buti & Carlos Martinez-Mongay & Khalid Sekkat & Paul van den Noord, 2003. "Automatic Fiscal Stabilisers in EMU: A Conflict between Efficiency and Stabilisation?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(1), pages 123-140.
  12. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Government size and macroeconomic stability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 117-132, January.
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