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On the Long-Term Impact of a Fiscal Devaluation: An Application to the Portuguese Case

  • Alfredo Marvão Pereira

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The College of William and Mary)

  • Rui M. Pereira

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The College of William and Mary)

  • Pedro G. Rodrigues

    (DSchool of Social andPolitical Sciences, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)

We use a dynamic general equilibrium model to quantify the likely long-term impact of a fiscal devaluation on the Portuguese economy. In a context of exogenous growth, and imposing an unchanged budget deficit to GDP ratio in the year the policy is enacted, we find that a tax swap worth 1 percent of steady-state GDP raises long-term income by as much as 1 percent, and still contributes towards fiscal consolidation, provided there are no cost of living adjustments. This permanent GDP gain is the result of a shift to a broader tax base, with fewer distortions, that then induces a faster accumulation of private capital. If all beneficiaries of public transfers and all civil servants are fully compensated for the increase in VAT, then a tax swap of the same magnitude raises long-term income by only 0.7 percent, and public indebtedness is not significantly altered. We also find that larger fiscal devaluations yield less-than-proportional GDP gains. The fact that fiscal devaluations are rather disappointing in raising the level of GDP can be traced back to a small net reduction in the overall labor tax wedge. This suggests that policymakers need to look elsewhere in their quest for efficient tax reforms.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of William and Mary in its series Working Papers with number 116.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:116
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  1. Stähler, Nikolai & Thomas, Carlos, 2011. "FiMod - a DSGE model for fiscal policy simulations," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,06, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  2. Alfredo Marvão Pereira & Rui M. Pereira, 2014. "What is it going to take to achieve 2020 Emission Targets? Marginal abatement cost curves and the budgetary impact of CO2 taxation in Portugal (," Working Papers 105, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  3. Francesco Franco, 2011. "Adjusting to external imbalances within the EMU, the case of Portugal," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp556, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  4. Lipińska, Anna & von Thadden, Leopold, 2009. "Monetary and fiscal policy aspects of indirect tax changes in a monetary union," Working Paper Series 1097, European Central Bank.
  5. Alfredo M. Pereira & Pedro G. Rodrigues, 2004. "Strategies for Fiscal Reform in the Context of the EMU: the Case of Portugal," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 141-163, 02.
  6. Alfredo Marvão Pereira & Rui M. Pereira, 2013. "Environmental Fiscal Reform and Fiscal Consolidation: The Quest for the Third Dividend in Portugal," Working Papers 114, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  7. Pedro G. Rodrigues & Alfredo M. Pereira, 2000. "On The Impact Of A Tax Reform Package In Portugal," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 353, Society for Computational Economics.
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