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The Confidence Effects of Fiscal Consolidations

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  • Beetsma, Roel
  • Cimadomo, Jacopo
  • Furtuna, Oana
  • Giuliodori, Massimo

Abstract

We explore how fiscal consolidations affect private sector confidence, a possible channel for the fiscal transmission that has received particular attention recently as a result of governments embarking on austerity trajectories in the aftermath of the crisis. Panel regressions based on the action-based datasets of De Vries et al. (2011) and Alesina et al. (2014) show that consolidations, and in particular their unanticipated components affect confidence negatively. The effects are stronger for revenue-based measures and when institutional arrangements, such as fiscal rules, are weak. To obtain a more accurate picture of how consolidations affect confidence, we construct a monthly dataset of consolidation announcements based on the aforementioned datasets, so that we can study the confidence effects in real time using an event study. Consumer confidence falls around announcements of consolidation measures, an effect driven by revenue-based measures. Moreover, the effects are most relevant for European countries with weak institutional arrangements, as measured by the tightness of fiscal rules or budgetary transparency. The effects on producer confidence are generally similar, but weaker than for consumer confidence. Long-term interest rates, as a measure of confidence in the sovereign, tend to fall around spending-based consolidation announcements that take place in slump periods. Overall, if confidence is a concern and consolidation is unavoidable, spending-based measures seem preferable. Slump periods are not necessarily bad moments for such measures, while strengthening institutional arrangements may help in mitigating adverse confidence effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Beetsma, Roel & Cimadomo, Jacopo & Furtuna, Oana & Giuliodori, Massimo, 2014. "The Confidence Effects of Fiscal Consolidations," CEPR Discussion Papers 10205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10205
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    Cited by:

    1. Fragetta, Matteo & Tamborini, Roberto, 2019. "It's not austerity. Or is it? Assessing the effect of austerity on growth in the European Union, 2010-15," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 196-212.
    2. Efrem Castelnuovo & Guay Lim, 2019. "What Do We Know About the Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Policy? A Brief Survey of the Literature on Fiscal Multipliers," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 52(1), pages 78-93, March.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Omar Barbiero & Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi & Matteo Paradisi, 2015. "Austerity in 2009-2013," NBER Working Papers 20827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hommes, Cars & Lustenhouwer, Joep & Mavromatis, Kostas, 2018. "Fiscal consolidations and heterogeneous expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 173-205.
    5. Iván Kataryniuk & Javier Vallés, 2018. "Fiscal consolidation after the Great Recession: the role of composition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 563-585.
    6. Osterloh, Steffen, 2018. "How do politics affect economic sentiment? The effects of uncertainty and policy preferences," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181614, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. van der Wielen, Wouter, 2020. "The macroeconomic effects of tax changes: Evidence using real-time data for the European Union," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 302-321.
    8. Beetsma, Roel & Furtuna, Oana & Giuliodori, Massimo, 2017. "Revenue- versus spending-based consolidation plans: the role of follow-up," CEPR Discussion Papers 12133, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Stracca, Livio & Kalbhenn, Anna, 2015. "Does fiscal austerity affect public opinion?," Working Paper Series 1774, European Central Bank.
    10. Nektarios Michail & Christos Savva & Demetris Koursaros, 2018. "Effects of fiscal consolidation on business confidence in the Euro Area," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 76-83.
    11. Wiese, Rasmus & Jong-A-Pin, Richard & de Haan, Jakob, 2018. "Can successful fiscal adjustments only be achieved by spending cuts?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 145-166.
    12. Sarah Brown & Alexandros Kontonikas & Alberto Montagnoli & Mirko Moro & Luisanna Onnis, 2018. "Austerity, Life Satisfaction and Expectations," Working Papers 2018001, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    13. Sarah Brown & Alexandros Kontonikas & Alberto Montagnoli & Mirko Moro & Luisanna Onnis, 2019. "Life satisfaction and austerity: Expectations and Macroeconomy," Working Papers 2019011, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    14. Roberto Tamborini & Matteo Tomaselli, 2020. "When does public debt impair economic growth? A literature review in search of a theory," DEM Working Papers 2020/7, Department of Economics and Management.
    15. Matteo Fragetta & Roberto Tamborini, 2017. "It’s not austerity. Or is it? Assessing the effect of austerity on growth in Europe, 2010-15," DEM Working Papers 2017/10, Department of Economics and Management.
    16. Favero, Carlo A. & Karamysheva, Madina, 2015. "What Do We Know About Fiscal Multipliers?," CEPR Discussion Papers 10986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Huixin Bi & Sarah Zubairy, 2020. "Public Pension Reforms and Fiscal Foresight: Narrative Evidence and Aggregate Implications," Research Working Paper RWP 20-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    announcements; consolidation plans; consumer- and business confidence; event study; institutional quality; long-term interest rates; revenues; spending;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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