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Procyclical Fiscal Policy; Shocks, Rules, and Institutions: A View From Mars

  • Paolo Manasse

This paper assesses the roles of shocks, rules, and institutions as possible sources of procyclicality in fiscal policy. By employing parametric and nonparametric techniques, I reach the following four main conclusions. First, policymakers' reactions to the business cycle is different depending on the state of the economy-fiscal policy is "acyclical" during economic bad times, while it is largely procyclical during good times. Second, fiscal rules and fiscal responsibility laws tend to reduce the deficit bias on average, and seem to enhance, rather than to weaken, countercyclical policy. However, the evidence also suggests that fiscal frameworks do not exert independent effects when the quality of institutions is accounted for. Third, strong institutions are associated to a lower deficit bias, but their effect on procyclicality is different in good and bad times, and it is subject to decreasing returns. Fourth, unlike developed countries, fiscal policy in developing countries is procyclical even during (moderate) recessions; in "good times," however, fiscal policy is actually more procyclical in developed economies.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 06/27.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/27
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  1. Evan Tanner, 2003. "Fiscal Rules and Countercyclical Policy; Frank Ramsey Meets Gramm-Rudman-Hollings," IMF Working Papers 03/220, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Fabrizio Balassone & Maura Francese, 2004. "Cyclical asymmetry in fiscal policy, debt accumulation and the Treaty of Maastricht," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 531, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
  4. Oya Celasun & Xavier Debrun & Jonathan D. Ostry, 2006. "Primary Surplus Behavior and Risks to Fiscal Sustainability in Emerging Market Countries: A "Fan-Chart" Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(3), pages 3.
  5. Paolo Manasse, 2005. "Deficit Limits, Budget Rules and Fiscal Policy," Macroeconomics 0509011, EconWPA.
  6. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2004. "Optimal Simple and Implementable Monetary and Fiscal Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 4334, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Bouthevillain, Carine & Cour-Thimann, Philippine & van de Dool, Gerrit & Hernández de Cos, Pablo & Langenus, Geert & Mohr, Matthias & Momigliano, Sandro & Tujula, Mika, 2001. "Cyclically adjusted budget balances: an alternative approach," Working Paper Series 0077, European Central Bank.
  8. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 1999. "Government Size and Automatic Stabilizers: International and Intranational Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. André Sapir & Marco Buti, 1998. "Economic policy in EMU," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8078, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Paul van den Noord, 2000. "The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 230, OECD Publishing.
  12. Paolo Manasse & Nouriel Roubini, 2005. "'Rules of Thumb' for Sovereign Debt Crises," International Finance 0509003, EconWPA.
  13. Alessandra Casella, 1999. "Tradable Deficit Permits: Efficient Implementation of the Stability Pacin the European Monetary Union," NBER Working Papers 7278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Khalid Sekkat & Marco Buti & Carlos Martinez-Mongay & Paul van den Noord, 2003. "Macroeconomic policy and structural reform: a conflict between stabilisation and flexibility?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7388, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  15. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
  16. Zvi Hercowitz & Michel Strawczynski, 2004. "Cyclical Ratcheting in Government Spending: Evidence from the OECD," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 353-361, February.
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