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Fiscal Consolidations and Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean

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  • Thibault Lemaire

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Banque de France)

Abstract

The transmission mechanisms of fiscal policy are significantly affected by informality in the labour market. Extending a narrative database of fiscal consolidations in 14 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean between 1989 and 2016 in order to account for heterogeneity in terms of commitment to the reforms, I show that tax-based and spending-based multipliers are both recessionary and do not significantly differ one from another in this region. Furthermore, these multipliers decline in absolute value as the level of labour informality increases in the economy, although evidences are less robust for spending-based consolidations. An analysis of the effects of tax-based consolidations on private demand suggests that labour market informality constitutes a short-term social buffer that attenuates the contractionary effects of this type of policy by increasing investment opportunities through tax evasion and entrepreneurial alternatives to unemployment for dismissed workers.

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  • Thibault Lemaire, 2020. "Fiscal Consolidations and Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-02492309, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-02492309
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    informality; taxation; Fiscal consolidation; emerging market economies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt

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