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Fiscal Policy Reaction to the Cycle in the OECD: Pro- or Counter-Cyclical?

  • Balazs Egert

This paper analyses the reaction of fiscal policy to the cycle in OECD countries. The results suggest that while overall government balances were counter-cyclical in the past and more so in economic downturns than in upswings, discretionary fiscal policy was neutral on average. However, discretionary fiscal policy appears to react to the cycle in a non-linear fashion: fiscal policy in countries with high public debt and high government deficits tends to be pro-cyclical, while countries that have low public debt and that have surpluses are more likely to conduct a counter-cyclical fiscal policy. The paper also finds that asset prices have a significant impact on government balances.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3777.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3777
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Filipe Campante & Guido Tabellini, . "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Working Paper 248206, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  2. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Foreword to "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs"," NBER Chapters, in: Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs, pages -1 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jacopo Cimadomo, 2012. "Fiscal Policy in Real Time," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 440-465, 06.
  4. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  5. Marco Buti & Paul Noord, 2004. "Fiscal Discretion and Elections in the Early Years of EMU," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 737-756, November.
  6. Sven Jari Stehn & Daniel Leigh, 2009. "Fiscal and Monetary Policy During Downturns: Evidence From the G7," IMF Working Papers 09/50, International Monetary Fund.
  7. César Calderón & Roberto Duncan & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2004. "Institutions and Cyclical Properties of Macroeconomic Policies," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 285, Central Bank of Chile.
  8. Zsolt Darvas, 2009. "The impact of the crisis on budget policy in Central and Eastern Europe," Working Papers 318, Bruegel.
  9. Kerstin Bernoth & Andrew Hughes Hallet & John Lewis, 2008. "Did fiscal policy makers know what they were doing? Reassessing fiscal policy with real-time data," DNB Working Papers 169, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  10. Dreher, Axel & Lamla, Michael J. & Lein, Sarah M. & Somogyi, Frank, 2009. "The impact of political leaders' profession and education on reforms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 169-193, March.
  11. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "Government Purchases and Real Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 2009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori, 2010. "Fiscal adjustment to cyclical developments in the OECD: an empirical analysis based on real-time data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(3), pages 419-441, July.
  13. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
  14. Ethan Ilzetzki & Carlos A. Vegh, 2008. "Procyclical Fiscal Policy in Developing Countries: Truth or Fiction?," NBER Working Papers 14191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Bruce E. Hansen, 1997. "Threshold effects in non-dynamic panels: Estimation, testing and inference," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 365, Boston College Department of Economics.
  17. Ugo Panizza & Dany Jaimovich, 2007. "Procyclicality or Reverse Causality?," Research Department Publications 4508, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  18. Strawczynski, Michel & Zeira, Joseph, 2009. "Cyclicality of Fiscal Policy: Permanent and Transitory Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Sanvi Avouyi-Dovi & Julien Matheron, 2005. "Interactions between business cycles, financial cycles and monetary policy: stylised facts," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Investigating the relationship between the financial and real economy, volume 22, pages 273-98 Bank for International Settlements.
  20. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1, December.
  21. Everts, Martin, 2006. "Duration of Business Cycles," MPRA Paper 1219, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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