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Fiscal consolidation using the example of Germany

  • Tobias Cwik

After the run up in debt-to-GDP ratios around the world in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the associated lower fiscal space, the question of prudent fiscal consolidation is back on the agenda. In this paper, I study the macroeconomic implications of fiscal consolidation triggered by the newly introduced "debt brake" in Germany, which dampens the accumulation of debt. I address this question using a medium-size new Keynesian DSGE model for Germany. The model includes the government debt-to-GDP ratio, government transfers, labour income tax, consumption tax and capital tax revenues. I find that the "debt brake" enforces fiscal consolidation in times of economic expansions without constraining fiscal policy makers in times of recessions. I also find that the debt brake raises the government spending multiplier initially but not over time. Finally, the debt brake, with a fiscal consolidation on the government spending and transfers side, leads to a significant stabilization of the private sector without increasing the volatility of the fiscal instruments.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2012-80.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-80
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  1. John Cogan & Tobias Cwik & John Taylor & Volker Wieland, 2009. "New Keynesian Versus Old Keynesian Government Spending Multipliers," Discussion Papers 08-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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  11. Rochelle M. Edge & Michael T. Kiley & Jean-Philippe Laforte, 2007. "Natural rate measures in an estimated DSGE model of the U.S. economy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-08, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Lena Mareen Koerber & R. Anton Braun, 2010. "New Keynesian Dynamics in a Low Interest Rate Environment," 2010 Meeting Papers 531, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. 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.
  14. Juillard, Michel, 1996. "Dynare : a program for the resolution and simulation of dynamic models with forward variables through the use of a relaxation algorithm," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9602, CEPREMAP.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna, 2010. "Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes versus Spending," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24, pages 35-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Olivier J. Blanchard & Paolo Mauro, 2010. "Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/03, International Monetary Fund.
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