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Fiscal Consolidations and Growth; Does Speed Matter?


  • Steven Pennings
  • Esther Perez Ruiz


Should fiscal consolidations be front-loaded or proceed at a more steady pace, and how does this affect growth? We make an attempt to address this question using a three-step methodology. First, we modify a standard regression of growth on consolidation size to allow speed to affect the multiplier. Second, using the narrative dataset of Devries and others (2011), we construct a new sample of multi-year consolidation episodes for 17 advanced economies over 1978-2009. Third, we develop a novel concept of speed to measure the pace of the consolidation episodes identified in the data. The main empirical finding is that fast episodes have higher multipliers than gradual consolidations. This provides some preliminary support for consolidating at a steady pace, market access and a credible adjustment plan permitting. However, as the sample size is small, identifying mechanisms and testing robustness is difficult, and so our findings should not be interpreted causally.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Pennings & Esther Perez Ruiz, 2013. "Fiscal Consolidations and Growth; Does Speed Matter?," IMF Working Papers 13/230, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:13/230

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roberto Perotti, 2012. "The "Austerity Myth": Gain without Pain?," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 307-354 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Matteo Iacoviello, 2005. "House Prices, Borrowing Constraints, and Monetary Policy in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 739-764, June.
    3. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 75-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2011. "Pegs and Pain," CEPR Discussion Papers 8275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Cúrdia, Vasco & Woodford, Michael, 2011. "The central-bank balance sheet as an instrument of monetarypolicy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 54-79, January.
    6. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise If the Government Buys More Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 183-249.
    7. Ilzetzki, Ethan & Mendoza, Enrique G. & Végh, Carlos A., 2013. "How big (small?) are fiscal multipliers?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 239-254.
    8. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    9. repec:eee:reecon:v:71:y:2017:i:3:p:411-421 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Auerbach, Alan J. & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy, 2017. "Fiscal multipliers in Japan," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 411-421.
    11. Daniel Leigh & Andrea Pescatori & Jaime Guajardo, 2011. "Expansionary Austerity New International Evidence," IMF Working Papers 11/158, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Giovanni Callegari & Giovanni Melina & Nicoletta Batini, 2012. "Successful Austerity in the United States, Europe and Japan," IMF Working Papers 12/190, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Anja Baum & Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro & Anke Weber, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers and the State of the Economy," IMF Working Papers 12/286, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Nina T Budina & Andrea Schaechter & Anke Weber & Tidiane Kinda, 2012. "Fiscal Rules in Response to the Crisis; Toward the "Next-Generation" Rules: A New Dataset," IMF Working Papers 12/187, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. International Monetary Fund, 2014. "Sri Lanka; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 14/286, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Ahmed Waqar Qasim & M. Ali Kemal & Omer Siddique, 2015. "Fiscal Consolidation and Economic Growth: A Case Study of Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2015:124, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.


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