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Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Roberto Perotti

This ppaer studies how the composition of fiscal adjustments influences their likelihood of success, defined as a long lasting deficit reduction, and their macroeconomic consequences. We find that fiscal adjustments which rely primarily on spending cuts on transfers and the government wage bill have a better chance of being successful and are expansionary. On the contrary fiscal adjustments which rely primarily on tax increases and cuts in public investment tend not to last and are contractionary. We discuss alternate explanations for these findings by studying both a full sample of OECD countries and by focusing on three case studies: Denmark, Ireland and Italy.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5730.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5730.

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Date of creation: Aug 1996
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Publication status: published as Alesina, Alberto and Roberto Perotti. "Fiscal Adjustments In OECD Countries: Composition And Macroeconomic Effects," International Monetary Fund Staff Papers, 1997, v44(2,Jun), 210-248.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5730
Note: ME
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  1. Giuseppe Bertola & Allan Drazen, 1991. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," NBER Working Papers 3844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Baxter, M., 1992. "Financial Market Linkages and the International Transmission of Fiscal Policy," RCER Working Papers 336, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Barro, Robert J, 1981. "Output Effects of Government Purchases," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1086-1121, December.
  4. Alesina, A. & Drazen, A., 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," Papers 6-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  5. Allan Drazen & Vittorio Grilli, 1990. "The Benefits of Crises for Economic Reforms," NBER Working Papers 3527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Sutherland, Alan, 1997. "Fiscal crises and aggregate demand: can high public debt reverse the effects of fiscal policy?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 147-162, August.
  7. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  8. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  9. Lindbeck, A., 1993. "Overshooting, Reform and Retreat of the Welfare State," Papers 552, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  10. Henning Bohn, . "Budget Balance Through Revenue or Spending Adjustments ? Some Historical Evidence for the United States (Reprint 013)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-91, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  11. Jean-Claude Chouraqui & Robert P. Hagemann & Nicola Sartor, 1990. "Indicators of Fiscal Policy: A Re-Examination," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 78, OECD Publishing.
  12. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1988. "Credibility, Debt and Unemployment: Ireland's Failed Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 2785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Fiscal Consolidation in Europe: Composition Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 105-10, May.
  14. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 1995. "The Growth of Government and the Reform of the State in Industrial Countries," IMF Working Papers 95/130, International Monetary Fund.
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