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Simple, Implementable Fiscal Policy Rules

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  • Michael Kumhof
  • Douglas Laxton

Abstract

This paper analyzes the scope for systematic rules-based fiscal activism in open economies. Relative to a balanced budget rule, automatic stabilizers significantly improve welfare. But they minimize fiscal instrument volatility rather than business cycle volatility. A more aggressively countercyclical tax revenue gap rule increases welfare gains by around 50 percent, with only modest increases in fiscal instrument volatility. For raw materials revenue gaps the government should let automatic stabilizers work. The best fiscal instruments are targeted transfers, consumption taxes and labor taxes, or, if it enters private utility, government spending. The welfare gains are significantly lower for more open economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Kumhof & Douglas Laxton, 2009. "Simple, Implementable Fiscal Policy Rules," IMF Working Papers 09/76, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:09/76
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lukas Vogel & Werner Roeger & Bernhard Herz, 2013. "The Performance of Simple Fiscal Policy Rules in Monetary Union," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 165-196, February.
    2. Michael Kumhof & Douglas Laxton, 2010. "Chile’s Structural Fiscal Surplus Rule: a Model-Based Evaluation," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 13(3), pages 5-32, December.
    3. repec:col:000107:015644 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Stefan Hohberger & Lukas Vogel & Bernhard Herz, 2015. "The sectoral reallocation of government purchases as budgetary-neutral stabilisation tool: a model-based analysis," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 59-74, March.
    5. Kumhof, Michael & Laxton, Douglas, 2013. "Simple fiscal policy rules for small open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 113-127.
    6. Reicher, Claire, 2014. "Systematic fiscal policy and macroeconomic performance: A critical overview of the literature," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-37.
    7. García-Cicco, Javier & Kawamura, Enrique, 2015. "Dealing with the Dutch disease: Fiscal rules and macro-prudential policies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 205-239.
    8. Hernán Rincón & Diego Rodríguez & Jorge Toro & Santiago Téllez, 2017. "FISCO: modelo fiscal para Colombia," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 35(83), pages 161-187, Junio.
    9. Paulo Vieira & Celsa Machado & Ana Paula Ribeiro, 2016. "Optimal Fiscal Simple Rules for Small and Large Countries of a Monetary Union," EcoMod2016 9685, EcoMod.
    10. Vladimir Klyuev & Stephen Snudden, 2011. "The Effects of Fiscal Consolidation in the Czech Republic," EcoMod2011 2974, EcoMod.
    11. Claudiu Tiberiu Albulescu & Nicolae Bogdan Ianc, 2016. "Fiscal Policy, Fdi And Macroeconomic Stabilization," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 18, pages 131-146, December.
    12. Snudden, Stephen, 2016. "Cyclical fiscal rules for oil-exporting countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 473-483.
    13. Freedman, Charles & Kumhof, Michael & Laxton, Douglas & Muir, Dirk & Mursula, Susanna, 2010. "Global effects of fiscal stimulus during the crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 506-526, July.
    14. Bi, Huixin & Kumhof, Michael, 2011. "Jointly optimal monetary and fiscal policy rules under liquidity constraints," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 373-389, September.
    15. García-Cicco, Javier & Kawamura, Enrique, 2015. "Dealing with the Dutch disease: Fiscal rules and macro-prudential policies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 205-239.

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