Can Severe Fiscal Contractions be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries
According to conventional wisdom, a fiscal consolidation is likely to contract real aggregate demand. It has often been argued, however, that this conclusion is misleading as it neglects the role of expectations of future policy: if the fiscal consolidation is read by the private sector as a signal that the share of government spending in GDP is being permanently reduced, households will revise upwards their estimate of their permanent income, and will raise current and planned consumption. Only the empirical evidence can sort out which of these two contending views about fiscal policy is more appropriate -- i.e how often the contractionary effect of a fiscal consolidation prevails on its expansionary expectational effect. This paper brings new evidence to bear on this issue drawing on the European exercise in fiscal rectitude of the 1980s, and focusing, in particulars on its two most extreme cases -- Denmark and Ireland. We find that at least in the experience of these two countries the expectations' view has a serious claim to empirical relevance.
|Date of creation:||May 1990|
|Publication status:||published as NBER Macroeconomic Annual 1990. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Barro, Robert J., 1979.
"On the Determination of the Public Debt,"
3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Aschauer, David Alan, 1985. "Fiscal Policy and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 117-127, March.
- Barro, Robert J., 1981.
"Output Effects of Government Purchases,"
3451294, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985.
"Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-247, April.
- Seater, John J. & Mariano, Roberto S., 1985. "New tests of the life cycle and tax discounting hypotheses," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 195-215, March.
- F. Giavazzi & M. Pagano, 1989.
"Confidence Crises and Public Debt Management,"
73, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
- Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1989. "Confidence Crises and Public Debt Management," CEPR Discussion Papers 318, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1989. "Confidence Crises and Public Debt Management," NBER Working Papers 2926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martin Feldstein, 1980.
"Government Deficits and Aggregate Demand,"
NBER Working Papers
0435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ahmed, Shaghil, 1987. "Government spending, the balance of trade and the terms of trade in British history," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 195-220, September.
- Alberto Alesina & Allan Drazen, 1989.
"Why are Stabilizations Delayed?,"
NBER Working Papers
3053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1989.
"Consumption and Capital Market Imperfections: An International Comparison,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
- Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1988. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfection: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "The Permanent Income Hypothesis: Estimation and Testing by Instrumental Variables," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 895-916, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3372. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.