Retirement, health, unemployment, the business cycle and automatic stabilization in the OECD
Official adjustments of the budget balance to the cycle assume that the only category of gov-ernment spending that responds automatically to the cycle is unemployment compensation. But estimates show otherwise. Payments for pensions, sickness, subsistence, invalidity, childcare and subsidies of all sorts to firms respond automatically and significantly to the cycle as well. In addition, it is fairly common to use official figures for cyclically adjusted budget balances, di-vide by potential output, and use the resulting ratios to study discretionary fiscal policy. But if potential output is not deterministic but subject to supply shocks, then apart from anything else, those ratios are inefficient estimates of the cyclically-independent ratios of budget balances di-vided by potential output. (A fortiori, they are inefficient estimates of the cyclically adjusted ratios of budget balances to observed output.) Accordingly, the paper makes use of detailed data from the OECDâ€™s Social Expenditure database to produce separate estimates of the impact of the cycle on disaggregated components of the budget balance, both in levels and in the form of their ratios to output. In addition, we discuss the relation between the two sorts of estimates. When the focus is on ratios of expenditure and revenue to output, the cyclical adjustments de-pend more on inertia in government spending on goods and services than they do on taxes (which are largely proportional to output). But they depend even still more on transfer pay-ments. Besides calling for different series for discretionary fiscal policy if ratios serve, these results also raise questions about the general policy advice to â€œlet the automatic stabilizers work.â€
|Date of creation:||02 Feb 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.essex.ac.uk/afm/mmf/index.html|
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.:
- Jordi Galí & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
- Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003.
"Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
- Adriana Arreaza & Bent E. Sgrensen & Oved Yosha, 1999. "Consumption Smoothing through Fiscal Policy in OECD and EU Countries," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 59-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arreaza, A. & Sorensen, B.E. & Yosha, O., 1997. "Consumption Smoothing Through Fiscal Policy in OECD and EU Countries," Papers 37-97, Tel Aviv.
- Adriana Arreaza & Bent E. Sorensen & Oved Yosha, 1998. "Consumption Smoothing through Fiscal Policy in OECD and EU Countries," NBER Working Papers 6372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Daniel R. Feenberg, 2000. "The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 37-56, Summer.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Daniel Feenberg, 2000. "The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers," NBER Working Papers 7662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mmf:mmfc06:81. 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: (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.