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Profitability, Fiscal Policy, and Exchange Rate Regimes


  • Lane, Philip R.
  • Perotti, Roberto


In this paper, we study the link between profitability, fiscal policy and exchange rate regimes. We are particularly interested in adding realism to the treatment of fiscal policy by looking explicitly at its individual components. We show that the different types of government spending and taxation affect profitability through two main channels, namely changes in labour costs and movements in the nominal exchange rate when the exchange rate is flexible. This also implies that the different components of fiscal policy have different effects on profitability depending on the exchange rate regime. Using a panel of OECD countries over 1960–94, we find considerable empirical support for the predictions of our model. Increases in government wage consumption lead to higher labour costs and a nominal exchange rate appreciation; hence, they have a stronger negative impact on profitability under a flexible exchange rate regime. The opposite holds for increases in labour taxation. In contrast, and in line with our model, government non-wage consumption and transfers have only minor effects on exchange rates and profitability, and regime effects are small in these cases. The implication for countries attempting a fiscal adjustment is that its impact on profitability depends critically on the composition of the fiscal adjustment and on the exchange rate policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Lane, Philip R. & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Profitability, Fiscal Policy, and Exchange Rate Regimes," CEPR Discussion Papers 1449, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1449

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    Cited by:

    1. Magda ElSayed Kandil, 2013. "Variation in the fiscal multiplier with the method of financing: evidence across industrial countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(35), pages 4894-4927, December.
    2. Carlos Mulas-Granados, 2003. "The Trade-Off between Growth & Equality and the Economic Impact of Alternative Fiscal Adjustment Strategies in the EU," European Economy Group Working Papers 20, European Economy Group.
    3. Magda Kandil, 2005. "On the Effects of Government Spending Shocks in Developing Countries," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 269-304.
    4. Lane, Philip R. & Perotti, Roberto, 1998. "The trade balance and fiscal policy in the OECD," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 887-895, May.
    5. Carlos Mulas-Granados, 2005. "Fiscal Adjustments and the Short-Term Trade-Off between economic growth and equality," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 172(1), pages 61-92, June.

    More about this item


    Exchange Rate Regimes; Fiscal Policy; Profitability;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions


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