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What Sustains Fiscal Consolidations in Emerging Market Countries?


  • Benedict J. Clements
  • Sanjeev Gupta
  • Erwin H Tiongson
  • Emanuele Baldacci


This paper examines the factors affecting the persistence of fiscal consolidation in 25 emerging market countries during 1980-2001. It proposes a new approach for defining spells of fiscal consolidation. The results indicate that the probability of ending a fiscal adjustment is affected by the legacy of previous fiscal failures, the size of the deficit, the composition of spending, and level of total revenues. There is also some evidence that the initial debt stock, exchange rate developments, inflation, and the unemployment rate have an impact on the persistence of adjustments.

Suggested Citation

  • Benedict J. Clements & Sanjeev Gupta & Erwin H Tiongson & Emanuele Baldacci, 2003. "What Sustains Fiscal Consolidations in Emerging Market Countries?," IMF Working Papers 03/224, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/224

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Fiscal Consolidation in Europe: Composition Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 105-110, May.
    2. von Hagen, Jurgen & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Strauch, Rolf, 2002. "Budgetary Consolidation in Europe: Quality, Economic Conditions, and Persistence," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 512-535, December.
    3. Vito Tanzi & Howell H. Zee, 1997. "Fiscal Policy and Long-Run Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 179-209, June.
    4. Lambertini, Luisa & Tavares, Jose, 2002. "Exchange Rates and Fiscal Adjustments: Evidence from the OECD and Implications for EMU," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp412, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
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    6. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy in Good Times and Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436.
    7. Fischer, Stanley, 1993. "The role of macroeconomic factors in growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
    8. Soojin Moon & Ales Bulir, 2003. "Do IMF-Supported Programs Help Make Fiscal Adjustment More Durable?," IMF Working Papers 03/38, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Heylen, Freddy & Everaert, Gerdie, 2000. "Success and Failure of Fiscal Consolidation in the OECD: A Multivariate Analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 103-124, October.
    10. Baldacci, Emanuele & Hillman, Arye L. & Kojo, Naoko C., 2004. "Growth, governance, and fiscal policy transmission channels in low-income countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 517-549, September.
    11. Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto, 1998. "Tales of Fiscal Adjustment," Scholarly Articles 2579822, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    12. Giavazzi, Francesco & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Searching for non-linear effects of fiscal policy: Evidence from industrial and developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1259-1289, June.
    13. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna, 1998. "Tales of fiscal adjustment," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(27), pages 487-545, October.
    14. Hjelm, Goran, 2002. " Effects of Fiscal Contractions: The Importance of Preceding Exchange Rate Movements," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(3), pages 423-441, September.
    15. Ardagna, Silvia, 2001. "Fiscal Policy Composition, Public Debt, and Economic Activity," Scholarly Articles 2579823, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    16. Reyes Maroto Illera & Carlos Mulas-Granados, "undated". "Duration of Fiscal Consolidations in the European Union," Working Papers 2001-19, FEDEA.
    17. A.J. Hughes Hallett & Peter McAdam, 2003. "Deficit Targeting Strategies: Fiscal Consolidation and the Probability Distribution of Deficits under the Stability Pact," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 421-444, June.
    18. Ardagna, Silvia, 2001. "Fiscal Policy Composition, Public Debt, and Economic Activity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 301-325, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michaela Dodini & Marco Fantini, 2006. "The EU Neighbourhood Policy: Implications for Economic Growth and Stability," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44, pages 507-532, September.
    2. Murtaza H Syed & Michael Skaarup & Tarhan Feyzioglu, 2008. "Addressing Korea’s Long-Term Fiscal Challenges," IMF Working Papers 08/27, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Benedict J. Clements & Sanjeev Gupta & Emanuele Baldacci & Carlos Mulas-Granados, 2004. "Front-Loaded or Back-Loaded Fiscal Adjustments; What Works in Emerging Market Economies?," IMF Working Papers 04/157, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Ali Bayar & Bram Smeets, 2009. "Government Deficits in the European Union: An Analysis of Entry and Exit Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 2703, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Salem KANOUN, 2014. "The Sustainability of Fiscal Adjustment Process : A Quantitative Approach With an Application to Tunisia," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(10), pages 1314-1331, October.
    6. Robert Lavigne, 2006. "The Institutional and Political Determinants of Fiscal Adjustment," Staff Working Papers 06-1, Bank of Canada.
    7. Mohamed Fenira, 2014. "Democracy: A Determinant Factor in Reducing Inflation," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 4(2), pages 363-375.
    8. Philippe Burger & Krige Siebrits & Estian Calitz, 2015. "The public sector balance sheet and fiscal consolidation in South Africa," Working Papers 11/2015, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    9. World Bank, 2008. "Nicaragua : Public Expenditure Review 2001-2006," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8090, The World Bank.


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