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Fiscal consolidation in the euro area: long-run benefits and short-run costs

  • Coenen, Günter
  • Mohr, Matthias
  • Straub, Roland

In this paper, we examine the macroeconomic effects of alternative fiscal consolidation policies in the New Area-Wide Model (NAWM), a two-country open-economy model of the euro area developed at the European Central Bank (cf. Coenen et al., 2007). We model fiscal consolidation as a permanent reduction in the targeted government debt-to-output ratio and analyse both expenditure and revenue-based policies that are implemented by means of simple fiscal feedback rules. We find that fiscal consolidation has positive long-run effects on key macroeconomic aggregates such as output and consumption, notably when the resulting improvement in the budgetary position is used to lower distortionary taxes. At the same time, fiscal consolidation gives rise to noticeable short-run adjustment costs in contrast to what the literature on expansionary fiscal consolidations suggests. Moreover, depending on the fiscal instrument used, fiscal consolidation may have pronounced distributional effects. JEL Classification: E32, E62

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0902.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20080902
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  3. Coenen, Günter & McAdam, Peter & Straub, Roland, 2007. "Tax reform and labour-market performance in the euro area: a simulation-based analysis using the New Area-Wide Model," Working Paper Series 0747, European Central Bank.
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  11. Ardagna, Silvia, 2004. "Fiscal Stabilizations: When Do They Work and Why," Scholarly Articles 2580047, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Ardagna, Silvia & Lane, Timothy & Caselli, Francesco, 2007. "Fiscal Discipline and the Cost of Public Debt Service: Some Estimates for OECD Countries," Scholarly Articles 2579739, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  14. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of two Small Euopean Countries," Working Papers 89, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna, 1998. "Tales of fiscal adjustment," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(27), pages 487-545, October.
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  17. Günter Coenen & Roland Straub, 2005. "Does Government Spending Crowd In Private Consumption? Theory and Empirical Evidence for the Euro Area," IMF Working Papers 05/159, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1995. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes: International Evidence and the Swedish Experience," CEPR Discussion Papers 1284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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