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Automatic Fiscal Stabilisers: What they are and what they do

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Listed:
  • Jan in't Veld
  • Martin Larch
  • Marieke Vandeweyer

Abstract

The global financial and economic crisis has revived the debate in the academic literature and in policy circles about the size and effectiveness of automatic fiscal stabilisers. Especially in the euro area where monetary policy is centralised and discretionary fiscal policy making is constrained by the EU fiscal rules, knowing the size and the effectiveness of automatic stabilisers is crucial. While automatic stabilisers are a fairly established concept in the fiscal policy literature, there is still no consensus about their actual nature and their effectiveness. This paper shows that differences in opinion mirror a deeper disagreement over how the budget would look like without automatic stabilisers. This issue is addressed by defining two types of counterfactual budgets giving rise to two different interpretations about the nature of automatic stabilisation. Simulations with a structural model confirm that the degree of smoothing is conditional on how the counterfactual budget, i.e. the budget without automatic stabilisers, is defined.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan in't Veld & Martin Larch & Marieke Vandeweyer, 2012. "Automatic Fiscal Stabilisers: What they are and what they do," Working Papers VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics 29, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:vivwps:29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Balleer, Almut & Gehrke, Britta & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2016. "Does short-time work save jobs? A business cycle analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 99-122.
    2. Baldi, Guido & Staehr, Karsten, 2016. "The European debt crisis and fiscal reactions in Europe 2000-2014," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 297-317.
    3. Papaioannou, Sotiris, 2016. "Public spending, monetary policy and growth: Evidence from EU countries," MPRA Paper 70331, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Aida Caldera Sánchez & Morten Rasmussen & Oliver Röhn, 2016. "Economic Resilience: What Role for Policies?," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(02), pages 1-44, June.
    5. Guido Baldi & Karsten Staehr, 2013. "The European debt crisis and fiscal reaction functions in Europe 2000–2012," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2013-5, Bank of Estonia, revised 24 Jul 2013.
    6. Cavallari, Lilia & Romano, Simone, 2017. "Fiscal policy in Europe: The importance of making it predictable," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 81-97.
    7. Papaioannou, Sotiris, 2016. "Public investment multipliers in EU countries: Does the efficiency of public sector matter?," MPRA Paper 70332, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Streeck, Wolfgang & Elsässer, Lea, 2014. "Monetary disunion: The domestic politics of Euroland," MPIfG Discussion Paper 14/17, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    9. Alisdair McKay & Ricardo Reis, 2016. "The Role of Automatic Stabilizers in the U.S. Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 141-194, January.
    10. Lilia Cavallari & Simone Romano, 2016. "Foresight And The Macroeconomic Impact Of Fiscal Policy: Evidence For France, Germany And Italy," Working Papers 0216, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2016.
    11. Chortareas, Georgios & Mavrodimitrakis, Christos, 2017. "Strategic fiscal policies and leadership in a monetary union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 133-147.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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