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Business Cycles and Fiscal Policies: the Role of Institutions and financial Markets

Author

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  • César Calderón
  • Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel

Abstract

Macroeconomic policies are designed to stabilize business cycle fluctuations. Usually, fiscal and monetary policies in industrial countries have been expansionary in response to weak domestic conditions. However, the cyclical properties of fiscal policies are a much more disputed issue among emerging market economies. Several researchers have attributed these differences in cyclical behavior to: (a) factors associated to a weak institutional framework that play a key role in explaining sub-optimal policy decisions, and (b) factors associated to weak integration (or access) to either domestic or international financial markets. The goal of the present paper is to empirically evaluate whether the ability of countries to conduct countercyclical fiscal policy is affected by the quality of their institutions and/or by the availability of financial resources either in domestic or international capital markets. Our empirical evaluation yields a more nuanced interpretation to the existing evidence: (1) countries are unable to conduct counter-cyclical fiscal policies if they have poor institutions or lack wide access to credit markets at home and abroad, and (2) institutional factors have a larger weight than financial variables in explaining the differences in cyclical behavior of fiscal policy between industrial and developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • César Calderón & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2008. "Business Cycles and Fiscal Policies: the Role of Institutions and financial Markets," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 481, Central Bank of Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:481
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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, September.
    2. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
    3. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2004. "Fiscal Policy and Financial Depth," NBER Working Papers 10532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos A. Vegh & Guillermo Vuletin, 2014. "Social Implications of Fiscal Policy Responses During Crises," NBER Working Papers 19828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:eee:jmacro:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:222-234 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Vegh, Carlos A. & Vuletin, Guillermo, 2013. "On graduation from fiscal procyclicality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 32-47.
    4. Jeffrey Frankel, 2013. "A Solution to Fiscal Procyclicality: The Structural Budget Institutions Pioneered by Chile," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Jordi Galí (ed.), Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Performance, edition 1, volume 17, chapter 9, pages 323-391 Central Bank of Chile.
    5. Avellan, Leopoldo & Vuletin, Guillermo, 2015. "Fiscal procyclicality and output forecast errors," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 193-204.
    6. Jean-Louis Combes & Rasmané Ouedraogo, 2014. "Does Pro-cyclical Aid Lead to Pro-cyclical Fiscal Policy? An Empirical Analysis for Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers halshs-01084600, HAL.
    7. Jeffrey Frankel, 2011. "Over-optimism in forecasts by official budget agencies and its implications," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 536-562.
    8. Carlos Vegh & Daniel Lederman & Federico R. Bennett, "undated". "Leaning Against the Wind," World Bank Other Operational Studies 26364, The World Bank.
    9. Punam Chuhan-Pole & Cesar Calderon & Gerard Kambou & Sebastien Boreux & Mapi M. Buitano & Vijdan Korman & Megumi Kubota, "undated". "Africa's Pulse, October 2015," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22722, The World Bank.

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