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Managing Chile's Macroeconomy during and after the Copper Price Boom


  • Luiz de Mello



Compliance with the structural budget surplus rule, which has been in place since 2001, has allowed the government to maintain a counter-cyclical fiscal stance in an environment of rising copper prices, while delivering a gradual reduction in public indebtedness. Monetary policy is conducted within a framework that combines inflation targeting with exchange-rate flexibility. A Fiscal Responsibility Law was promulgated in September 2006, strengthening the macroeconomic framework further by embedding the fiscal rule in law and setting out regulations for the use of fiscal savings. Complementary pension reform is being discussed in Congress with the objective of strengthening the pension system’s solidarity pillar and encouraging retirement saving. The tax system is also being improved with a view to removing obstacles to financial deepening and to business-sector development. Government spending on social programmes is budgeted to rise considerably, in line with the authorities’ emphasis on social development. The main challenge in the macroeconomic area is to maintain the policy setting that has served Chile so well over the recent copper-price upswing, while tempering demands for hiking public social spending and maintaining a lean public sector in a low-tax, low-debt environment. This paper relates to the 2007 Economic Survey of Chile ( La gestion macroéconomique du Chili durant et après la forte hausse des prix du cuivre Respectant la règle d’excédent budgétaire structurel, appliquée depuis 2001, le gouvernement a pu maintenir une orientation budgétaire anticyclique dans un contexte de hausse des prix du cuivre tout en réduisant progressivement la dette publique. La politique monétaire s’appuie sur un cadre associant le ciblage de l’inflation à un taux de change flexible. Une loi de responsabilité budgétaire, adoptée en septembre 2006, a encore renforcé le dispositif macroéconomique en conférant un caractère législatif à la règle budgétaire et en réglementant l’utilisation des économies budgétaires. Une réforme complémentaire des retraites est actuellement examinée par le Congrès, son but étant de consolider le régime fondé sur la solidarité et d’encourager l’épargne retraite. Les autorités s’efforcent également d’améliorer le système fiscal afin d’éliminer les obstacles au développement du secteur financier et du secteur des entreprises. Les dépenses publiques devraient beaucoup augmenter pour les programmes sociaux, l’accent étant mis sur le développement social. Le principal enjeu macroéconomique est de préserver le cadre d’action qui a été si bénéfique pour le Chili durant la forte hausse récente des prix du cuivre, tout en tempérant les revendications d’augmentation des dépenses publiques sociales et en conservant un secteur public dimensionné au plus juste dans un environnement de faible fiscalité et de faible endettement. Ce document se rapporte à l’Étude économique du Chili 2007 (

Suggested Citation

  • Luiz de Mello, 2008. "Managing Chile's Macroeconomy during and after the Copper Price Boom," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 605, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:605-en

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    Cited by:

    1. D. Contreras & L. de Mello & E. Puentes, 2011. "The determinants of labour force participation and employment in Chile," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(21), pages 2765-2776.

    More about this item


    Chile; Chili; fiscal policy; monetary policy; pension reform; politique budgétaire; politique monétaire; réforme des pensions;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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