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Fiscal Policy Responsiveness, Persistence, and Discretion

  • António Afonso
  • Luca Agnello
  • Davide Furceri

In this working paper, we decompose fiscal policy in three components: i) responsiveness, ii) persistence and iii) discretion. Using a sample of 132 countries, our results point out that fiscal policy tends to be more persistent than responding to output variations. We also found that while the effect of cross-country covariates is positive (negative) for discretion, it is negative (positive) for persistence, suggesting that countries with higher persistence have lower discretion and vice versa. In particular, while government size, country size and income have negative effects on the discretion component of fiscal policy, they tend to increase fiscal policy persistence. Réaction au cycle, persistance et effet discrétionnaire de la politique budgétaire Nous décomposons la politique budgétaire en trois composantes : i) réponse, ii) persistance et iii) effet discrétionnaire. Utilisant un échantillon de 132 pays, nos résultats montrent que la politique budgétaire tend à être plus persistante qu’elle ne répond aux variations du PIB. Nous trouvons également qu’alors que l’effet des covariations entre pays affecte positivement (négativement) l’effet discrétionnaire, il a un effet négatif (positif) sur la persistance. Cela suggère que les pays dotés d’une forte persistance ont un effet discrétionnaire plus faible et vice versa. En particulier, alors que la taille du gouvernement, la taille du pays et le revenu ont des effets négatifs sur la composante discrétionnaire de la politique budgétaire, ils tendent à augmenter la persistance de la politique budgétaire.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/228864226783
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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 659.

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Date of creation: 17 Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:659-en
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  1. Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. António Afonso & Luca Agnello & Davide Furceri & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2009. "Assessing Long-Term Fiscal Developments: a New Approach," NIPE Working Papers 7/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  3. Riccardo Fiorito, 1997. "Stylized Facts of Government Finance in the G-7," IMF Working Papers 97/142, International Monetary Fund.
  4. António Afonso, 2008. "Ricardian fiscal regimes in the European Union," Empirica, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 313-334, July.
  5. Davide Furceri, 2007. "Is Government Expenditure Volatility Harmful for Growth? A Cross-Country Analysis," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(1), pages 103-120, 03.
  6. Sorensen, B.E. & Wu, L. & Yosha, O., 1999. "Output Fluctuations and Fiscal Policy: U.S. State and Local Governments 1978-1994," Papers 22-99, Tel Aviv.
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela & Vegh, Carlos, 2004. "When it rains, it pours: Procyclical capital flows and macroeconomic policies," MPRA Paper 13883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1998. "Openness, country size and government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 305-321, September.
  9. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Davide Furceri, 2010. "Long-run growth and volatility: which source really matters?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(15), pages 1865-1874.
  11. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2005. "Policy Volatility, Institutions and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 5388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-51, December.
  14. Torsten Persson, 2002. "Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 883-905, May.
  15. Lane, Philip R., 2003. "The cyclical behaviour of fiscal policy: evidence from the OECD," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2661-2675, December.
  16. Jean Imbs, 2006. "Growth and Volatility," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 06-09, Swiss Finance Institute.
  17. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov, 2003. "The Case For Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1419-1447, November.
  18. Gadi Barlevy, 2004. "The Cost of Business Cycles and the Benefits of Stabilization: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Ernesto Talvi & Carlos A. Vegh, 2000. "Tax Base Variability and Procyclical Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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