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Fiscal policy responsiveness, persistence and discretion


  • Afonso, António
  • Furceri, Davide
  • Agnello, Luca


We decompose fiscal policy in three components: i) responsiveness, ii) persistence and iii) discretion. Using a sample of 132 countries, our results point out that fiscal policy tends to be more persistent than to respond to output conditions. We also found that while the effect of cross-country covariates is positive (negative) for discretion, it is negative (positive) for persistence thereby suggesting that countries with higher persistence have lower discretion and vice versa. In particular, while government size, country size and income have negative effects on the discretion component of fiscal policy, they tend to increase fiscal policy persistence. JEL Classification: E62, H50

Suggested Citation

  • Afonso, António & Furceri, Davide & Agnello, Luca, 2008. "Fiscal policy responsiveness, persistence and discretion," Working Paper Series 954, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2008954

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    More about this item


    fiscal policy; Fiscal Volatility.;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General


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