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Fiscal Consolidations and Growth: Does Speed Matter?

  • Steven Pennings
  • Esther Pérez Ruiz
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    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.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 13/230.

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    Length: 25
    Date of creation: 11 Nov 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:13/230
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    1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    2. Ethan Ilzetzki & Enrique G. Mendoza & Carlos A. Végh, 2010. "How Big (Small?) are Fiscal Multipliers?," NBER Working Papers 16479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2010. "The central-bank balance sheet as an instrument of monetary policy," Staff Reports 463, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    4. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2014. "Fiscal Multipliers in Japan," NBER Working Papers 19911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. Daniel Leigh & Andrea Pescatori & Jaime Guajardo, 2011. "Expansionary Austerity New International Evidence," IMF Working Papers 11/158, International Monetary Fund.
    7. 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.
    8. Giovanni Callegari & Giovanni Melina & Nicoletta Batini, 2012. "Successful Austerity in the United States, Europe and Japan," IMF Working Papers 12/190, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Anja Baum & Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro & Anke Weber, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers and the State of the Economy," IMF Working Papers 12/286, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2011. "Pegs and Pain," CEPR Discussion Papers 8275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Matteo Iacoviello, 2002. "House prices, borrowing constraints and monetary policy in the business cycle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 542, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 06 Dec 2004.
    12. Nina 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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