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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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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-03/cesifo1_wp3777.pdf
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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
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3777
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Filipe R. Campante & Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1006-1036, 09.
  2. 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.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "Government Purchases and Real Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 2009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sven Jari Stehn & Daniel Leigh, 2009. "Fiscal and Monetary Policy During Downturns; Evidence From the G7," IMF Working Papers 09/50, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bernoth, Kerstin & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Lewis, John, 2008. "Did Fiscal Policy Makers Know What They Were Doing? Reassessing Fiscal Policy with Real Time Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6758, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Cimadomo, Jacopo, 2008. "Fiscal policy in real time," Working Paper Series 0919, European Central Bank.
  8. Zsolt Darvas, 2009. "The Impact of the Crisis on Budget Policy in Central and Eastern Europe," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0924, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  9. 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, April.
  10. Hansen, Bruce E., 1999. "Threshold effects in non-dynamic panels: Estimation, testing, and inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 345-368, December.
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  12. 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.
  13. M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Everts, Martin, 2006. "Duration of Business Cycles," MPRA Paper 1219, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. 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.
  16. Ugo Panizza & Dany Jaimovich, 2007. "Procyclicality or Reverse Causality?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6843, Inter-American Development Bank.
  17. Strawczynski, Michel & Zeira, Joseph, 2009. "Cyclicality of Fiscal Policy: Permanent and Transitory Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
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