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Implementing the New Fiscal Policy Activism


  • Alan J. Auerbach


To many observers, the current recession provides compelling circumstances for renewed fiscal policy activism. But the strong support for fiscal policy intervention reflects a renewed belief in policy activism that had already appeared before the present crisis. However, the recent debate about possible fiscal policy interventions suggests that we are still relying on the approaches to discretionary policy used in past periods of policy activism. It is not surprising that there have been few advances in discretionary policy design, given the lack of favor such policy suffered over many years. But if we are going to practice fiscal discretionary policy on a large scale, then more attention to policy design is sorely needed.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan J. Auerbach, 2009. "Implementing the New Fiscal Policy Activism," NBER Working Papers 14725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14725
    Note: PE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alan J. Auerbach, 2003. "Fiscal Policy, Past and Present," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 75-138.
    2. Alan J. Auerbach, 2008. "Federal Budget Rules: The US Experience," NBER Working Papers 14288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rosanne Altshuler & Alan J. Auerbach & Michael Cooper & Matthew Knittel, 2009. "Understanding U.S. Corporate Tax Losses," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 23, pages 73-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Alan J. Auerbach, 2002. "Is there a role for discretionary fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 109-150.
    6. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heinrich, Tobias & Kobayashi, Yoshiharu & Bryant, Kristin A., 2016. "Public Opinion and Foreign Aid Cuts in Economic Crises," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 66-79.
    2. Georgios KARRAS, 2015. "Fiscal Activism In European Regions: Evidence On Fiscal Rules Before And After The Euro," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(1), pages 21-34, June.
    3. repec:euf:pfremu:pfr-2017-01 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Manuel Coutinho Pereira, 2009. "A New Measure of Fiscal Shocks Based on Budget Forecasts and its Implications," Working Papers w200921, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    5. Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Automatic stabilizers and economic crisis: US vs. Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 279-294.
    6. Alan Auerbach, 2009. "US Fiscal Policy In Recession: What's Next?," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(2), pages 3-8, July.
    7. Marco Di Maggio & Amir Kermani, 2016. "The Importance of Unemployment Insurance as an Automatic Stabilizer," NBER Working Papers 22625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Edge, Rochelle M. & Rudd, Jeremy B., 2011. "General-equilibrium effects of investment tax incentives," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 564-577.
    9. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität
      [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]
      ," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Virkola, Tuomo, 2014. "Exchange Rate Regime, Fiscal Foresight and the Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy in a Small Open Economy," ETLA Reports 20, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    11. Alisdair McKay & Ricardo Reis, 2016. "The Role of Automatic Stabilizers in the U.S. Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 141-194, January.
    12. Thiess Buettner & Clemens Fuest, 2010. "The role of the corporate income tax as an automatic stabilizer," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(6), pages 686-698, December.
    13. European Commission, 2010. "Tax Policy after the Crisis: Monitoring Tax Revenues and Tax Reforms in EU Member States 2010 Report," Taxation Papers 24, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    14. Cindy Moons, 2013. "Losses from Membership in EMU: An Estimated Two-Country DSGE Model," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 59(1), pages 27-61.
    15. Jimborean, R. & Ferroni, F., 2010. "Did Tax Policies mitigate US Business Cycles?," Working papers 296, Banque de France.
    16. Hristov, Atanas, 2012. "The Effects of Discretionary Fiscal Stimulus: A Survey," MPRA Paper 44714, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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