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Economic Policy and Output Volatility in Spain, 1950-1998: Was Fiscal Policy Destabilizing?

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Abstract

Was Spanish fiscal policy destabilizing? We estimate policy reaction functions and test the impact of fiscal shocks on growth volatility over the period 1950-1998. We find that a transition from pro-cyclical to countercyclical fiscal policy occurred in the late years of the Franco regime, contributing to the stabilization of the growth pattern. The timing of the shift, between the late 1960s and early 1970s, was not determined by a single policy change, but rather by gradual pressure from economic liberalization, the external constraint imposed by a fixed exchange rate regime and the modernization of fiscal policy instruments. The aggressiveness of fiscal shocks also decreased over time, thus contributing to the progressive stabilization of output growth. There appears to be little necessity to appeal to a 'Great Moderation' of monetary policy to understand the greater stability of the Spanish economy from the 1980s

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  • Battilossi, Stefano & Escario, Regina & Foreman-Peck, James, 2010. "Economic Policy and Output Volatility in Spain, 1950-1998: Was Fiscal Policy Destabilizing?," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2010/5, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdf:wpaper:2010/5
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    1. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. VĂ©gh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 1-48.
    3. Paul van den Noord, 2000. "The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 230, OECD Publishing.
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:34721963 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Keywords

    fiscal reaction function; fiscal shocks; SVAR; growth volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-

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