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A Lesson From the South for Fiscal Policy in the US and Other Advanced Countries

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  • Frankel, Jeffrey A.

Abstract

American fiscal policy has been procyclical: Washington wasted the expansion period 2001-2007 by running budget deficits, but by 2011 had come to feel constrained by inherited debt to withdraw fiscal stimulus. Chile has achieved countercyclical fiscal policy – saving in booms and easing in recession – during the same decade that rich countries forgot how to do so. Chile has a rule that targets a structural budget balance. But rules are not credible by themselves. In Europe and the U.S., official forecasts are overly optimistic in booms; so revenue is spent rather than saved. Chile avoids such wishful thinking by having independent panels of experts decide what is structural and what is cyclical.

Suggested Citation

  • Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2011. "A Lesson From the South for Fiscal Policy in the US and Other Advanced Countries," Scholarly Articles 4726595, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4726595
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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