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Simple, Implementable Fiscal Policy Rules

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  • Mr. Michael Kumhof
  • Mr. 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

  • Mr. Michael Kumhof & Mr. Douglas Laxton, 2009. "Simple, Implementable Fiscal Policy Rules," IMF Working Papers 2009/076, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2009/076
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    Cited by:

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    2. Reicher, Claire, 2014. "Systematic fiscal policy and macroeconomic performance: A critical overview of the literature," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-37.
    3. Davide Furceri & João Tovar Jalles, 2018. "Determinants and Effects of Fiscal Counter-Cyclicality," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 36(85), pages 137-151, April.
    4. Hernán Rincón & Diego Rodríguez & Jorge Toro & Santiago Téllez, 2017. "FISCO: modelo fiscal para Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 35(83), pages 161-187, June.
    5. Vladimir Klyuev & Stephen Snudden, 2011. "Effects of Fiscal Consolidation in the Czech Republic," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 61(4), pages 306-326, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Snudden, Stephen, 2016. "Cyclical fiscal rules for oil-exporting countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 473-483.
    8. 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.
    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. 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.
    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. Kumhof, Michael & Laxton, Douglas, 2013. "Simple fiscal policy rules for small open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 113-127.
    13. 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.
    14. Jalles, João Tovar, 2020. "The volatility impact of social expenditure’s cyclicality in advanced economies," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 26-40.
    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.
    16. 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.

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