Automatic Stabilizers and the Size of Government: Correcting a Common Misunderstanding
The size of government is a commonly used variable in many analytical studies on the effects of fiscal policy. An accepted practice is to measure it as the ratio of government spending to GDP. However, this is not the correct metric when computing the stabilization effects of nondiscretionary fiscal policy. Intuitively, public spending does not react to cyclical conditions as much as taxes do - as reflected in the standard zero-one elasticity assumptions for spending and revenue, respectively. This paper shows that the revenue to GDP ratio is the appropriate indicator of government size for the purpose of assessing the stabilization effects of nondiscretionary fiscal policy.
|Date of creation:||01 Jul 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 623-7000
Fax: (202) 623-4661
Web page: http://www.imf.org/external/pubind.htm
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/pubs/ord_info.htm|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Young Lee & Taeyoon Sung, 2007. "Fiscal Policy, Business Cycles and Economic Stabilisation: Evidence from Industrialised and Developing Countries," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(4), pages 437-462, December.
- Bouthevillain, C. & Van Den Dool, G. & Langenus, G. & Mohr, M. & Momigliano, S. & Tujula, M. & De Cos, P.H. & Cour-Thimann, Philippine, 2001.
"Cyclically Adjusted Budget Balances: an Alternative Approach,"
77, Quebec a Montreal - Recherche en gestion.
- 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.
- Xavier Debrun & Radhicka Kapoor, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Stability: Automatic Stabilizers Work, Always and Everywhere," IMF Working Papers 10/111, International Monetary Fund.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/155. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jim Beardow)or (Hassan Zaidi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.