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Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Adjustment: A Tale of two Approaches

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  • Weonho Yang
  • Jan Fidrmuc
  • Sugata Ghosh

Abstract

We investigate the short-term effects of fiscal adjustment on economic activity in 20 OECD countries from 1970 to 2009. We compare two approaches: the traditional approach based on changes in cyclically adjusted primary balance (CAPB) and the narrative approach based on historical records. Proponents of the latter argue that it captures discretionary fiscal adjustment more accurately than the traditional approach. We propose a new definition of CAPB that takes account of fluctuations in asset prices and reflects idiosyncratic features of fiscal policy in individual countries. Using this new definition, we find that fiscal adjustments always have contractionary effects on economic activity in the short term; we find no evidence of expansionary (non-Keynesian) fiscal adjustments. Spending-based fiscal adjustments lead to smaller output loses than tax-based fiscal adjustment. These results are in line with the literature using the narrative approach, suggesting that the CAPB, when correctly specified, can be used as a measure of fiscal adjustments.

Suggested Citation

  • Weonho Yang & Jan Fidrmuc & Sugata Ghosh, 2013. "Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Adjustment: A Tale of two Approaches," CESifo Working Paper Series 4401, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4401
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Breuer, Christian, 2017. "Expansionary Austerity and Reverse Causality," MPRA Paper 77556, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Philipp Heimberger, 2017. "Did fiscal consolidation cause the double-dip recession in the euro area?," Review of Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 5(3), pages 439-458, July.
    3. Pedro Brinca & Miguel H. Ferreira & Francesco Franco & Hans A. Holter & Laurence Malafry, 2017. "Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality," CeBER Working Papers 2017-11, Centre for Business and Economics Research (CeBER), University of Coimbra.
    4. Pedro Brinca & Miguel H. Ferreira & Francesco Franco & Hans A. Holter & Laurence Malafry, 2017. "Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality," CEF.UP Working Papers 1703, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    5. repec:mje:mjejnl:v:13:y:2017:i:3:p:135-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:4:p:712-750 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Potrafke, Niklas, 2017. "Partisan politics: The empirical evidence from OECD panel studies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 712-750.
    8. Karlis Vilerts & Olegs Tkacevs, 2016. "The Impact of Sovereign Bond Yields on Fiscal Discipline," Working Papers 2016/05, Latvijas Banka.
    9. Philipp Heimberger, 2018. "The Dynamic Effects of Fiscal Consolidation Episodes on Income Inequality," wiiw Working Papers 147, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    10. repec:mje:mjejnl:v:12:y:2017:i:3:p:135-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Sebastian Gechert & Rafael Mentges, 2017. "Financial Cycles and fiscal multipliers," FMM Working Paper 04-2017, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    12. Kleis, Mischa & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel, 2016. "The long-run effect of fiscal consolidation on economic growth: Evidence from quantitative case studies," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-047, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    13. repec:eme:jfeppp:jfep-07-2016-0051 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; fiscal adjustment; narrative approach; cyclically adjusted primary balance;

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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