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Is fiscal policy always counter- (pro-) cyclical? The role of public debt and fiscal rules

Author

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  • Jean-Louis Combes

    (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UCA [2017-2020] - Université Clermont Auvergne [2017-2020] - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Alexandru Minea

    (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UCA [2017-2020] - Université Clermont Auvergne [2017-2020] - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Mousse Ndoye Sow

    (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UCA [2017-2020] - Université Clermont Auvergne [2017-2020] - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We investigate the reaction of fiscal policy to the business cycle in a panel of 56 developed, emerging and developing economies over 1990–2011. While we strengthen the established finding that fiscal policy is counter-cyclical, additional outcomes emerge from this study. We reveal a non-linear response of fiscal policy to the business cycle, conditional upon the outstanding debt stock. Interestingly, when the public debt-to-GDP ratio goes beyond our endogenously estimated threshold of 87%, fiscal policy turns pro-cyclical. To tackle this effect, we explore the role of fiscal rules (FR). We unveil heterogeneous impacts among FR, as only some of them may mitigate fiscal policy procyclicality in high-debt contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Louis Combes & Alexandru Minea & Mousse Ndoye Sow, 2017. "Is fiscal policy always counter- (pro-) cyclical? The role of public debt and fiscal rules," Post-Print hal-01682627, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01682627
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2017.05.017
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.uca.fr/hal-01682627
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycle Fiscal policy Public debt Fiscal Rules Non-linear effects;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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