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The Effects of Fiscal Consolidations: Theory and Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto Alesina
  • Omar Barbiero
  • Carlo Favero
  • Francesco Giavazzi
  • Matteo Paradisi

Abstract

We investigate the macroeconomic effects of fiscal consolidations based upon government spending cuts, transfers cuts and tax hikes. We extend a narrative dataset of fiscal consolidations, with details on over 3500 measures for 16 OECD countries. We show that government spending cuts and cuts in transfers are much less harmful than tax hikes, despite the fact that non-distortionary transfers are not classified as spending. Standard New Keynesian models robustly match our results when fiscal shocks are persistent. Wealth effects on aggregate demand mitigate the impact of a persistent spending cut. Static distortions caused by persistent tax hikes cause larger shifts in aggregate supply under sticky prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina & Omar Barbiero & Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi & Matteo Paradisi, 2017. "The Effects of Fiscal Consolidations: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 23385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23385
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    Cited by:

    1. Pedro Brinca & Miguel H. Ferreira & Francesco Franco & Hans A. Holter & Laurence Malafry, 2017. "Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality," CEF.UP Working Papers 1703, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    2. Pedro Brinca & Miguel H. Ferreira & Francesco Franco & Hans A. Holter & Laurence Malafry, 2017. "Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality," CeBER Working Papers 2017-11, Centre for Business and Economics Research (CeBER), University of Coimbra.
    3. Beetsma, Roel & Furtuna, Oana & Giuliodori, Massimo, 2017. "Revenue- versus spending-based consolidation plans: the role of follow-up," CEPR Discussion Papers 12133, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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