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Fiscal Consolidation: Part 1. How Much is Needed and How to Reduce Debt to a Prudent Level?

Author

Listed:
  • Douglas Sutherland

    (OECD)

  • Peter Hoeller

    (OECD)

  • Rossana Merola

    (OECD)

Abstract

The economic and financial crisis was the catalyst for a fiscal crisis that engulfs many OECD countries. In most countries, budget deficits soared as a result of the economic slump, weaker revenues and the policy response to the crisis. Consolidating the public finances is an important challenge for many countries. Estimates of fiscal gaps suggest that substantial and sustained fiscal tightening will be needed in nearly all countries to bring debt down to prudent levels. However, given a weak global economy, implementing a large fiscal tightening could be particularly costly. Structuring consolidation packages to use instruments with low multipliers initially and enhancing the institutional framework for fiscal policy to lend greater credibility to the commitment to consolidate over time may help minimise the trade-offs with growth in the short run. In most countries there is scope to target spending programmes more effectively and eliminate distortions in taxation and re-orientate taxation to minimise distortions. Such measures, buttressed by structural reforms, such as to unsustainable pension systems, can underpin fiscal sustainability, while minimising the costs to long-run growth. Consolidation budgétaire: Partie 1. Quel est le degré d'assainissement nécessaire et comment ramener la dette à un niveau prudent ? La crise économique et financière a servi de catalyseur pour une crise budgétaire qui engloutit de nombreux pays de l’OCDE. Dans la plupart des pays, les déficits budgétaires ont fait un bond en raison du marasme économique, de la diminution des recettes et des mesures prises en réponse à la crise. Assainir les finances publiques représente un enjeu majeur pour bon nombre de pays. Sur la base d’estimations des écarts budgétaires, il semble qu’il faudra un resserrement budgétaire important et durable dans presque tous les pays pour ramener la dette à des niveaux prudents. Cependant, compte tenu de la faiblesse de l’économie mondiale, la mise en oeuvre d’un vaste programme de restriction budgétaire pourrait être particulièrement coûteuse. Structurer les programmes de consolidation de façon à utiliser au départ des instruments à multiplicateurs faibles et, à terme, à améliorer le cadre institutionnel de la politique budgétaire afin de rendre plus crédible l’engagement à assainir les finances publiques pourrait aider à réduire au minimum les arbitrages avec la croissance dans le court terme. Dans la plupart des pays, il est possible de cibler plus efficacement les programmes de dépenses et d’éliminer les distorsions dans la fiscalité et de réorienter cette dernière afin de réduire au minimum les distorsions. Ces mesures, étayées par des réformes structurelles telles que la réforme des systèmes de retraite, qui ne sont plus tenables, peuvent soutenir la viabilité budgétaire tout en réduisant au minium les coûts pour la croissance à long terme.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 1. How Much is Needed and How to Reduce Debt to a Prudent Level?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 932, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:932-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k9h28rhqnxt-en
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    1. L’austérité plus que toujours en question
      by jcbriquet in Ressources pour économistes on 2012-04-17 16:32:27

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    1. Sergey Sinelnikov-Murylev & Eugene Goryunov & Laurence Kotlikoff, 2015. "Theoretical foundations of fiscal gap as a long-term fiscal sustainability indicator and its estimates for Russia," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 168P, pages 1-58.
    2. Eddie Casey & Joe Durkan & David Duffy, 2013. "Fiscal Consolidation Strategies: Evidence from the International Experience," Open Access publications 10197/5999, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    3. Bodrova, Vera & Gvozdeva, Margarita & Kazakova, Maria, 2015. "Methods of Long-term Forecasting: Comparative Analysis and Foreign Experience of Applying," Published Papers 2310, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    4. Randall S. Jones & Satoshi Urasawa, 2013. "Restoring Japan's Fiscal Sustainability," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1050, OECD Publishing.
    5. Rossana Merola & Douglas Sutherland, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 3. Long-Run Projections and Fiscal Gap Calculations," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 934, OECD Publishing.
    6. Gianluca Cafiso & Roberto Cellini, 2014. "Fiscal consolidations and public debt in Europe," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 614-644, August.
    7. Boris Cournède & Antoine Goujard & Álvaro Pina, 2013. "How to Achieve Growth- and Equity-friendly Fiscal Consolidation?: A Proposed Methodology for Instrument Choice with an Illustrative Application to OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1088, OECD Publishing.
    8. David Turner & Francesca Spinelli, 2013. "The Effect of Government Debt, External Debt and their Interaction on OECD Interest Rates," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1103, OECD Publishing.
    9. Robert A Buckle & Amy A Cruickshank, 2013. "The Requirements for Long-Run Fiscal Sustainability," Treasury Working Paper Series 13/20, New Zealand Treasury.
    10. Kazakova, Maria & Trunin, Pavel, 2015. "Long-Term Prognosis of Basic Demographic and Macroeconomic Indicators in Russia," Published Papers 2308, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    11. Athanasios Tagkalakis, 2014. "Discretionary fiscal policy and economic activity in Greece," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 687-712, November.
    12. Robert P. Hagemann, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 6. What Are the Best Policy Instruments for Fiscal Consolidation?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 937, OECD Publishing.
    13. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola & Volker Ziemann, 2012. "Debt and Macroeconomic Stability," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1003, OECD Publishing.
    14. Margit Molnár, 2012. "Fiscal consolidation: What factors determine the success of consolidation efforts?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2012(1), pages 123-149.
    15. Goryunov, Yevgeniy, 2016. "Theoretical foundations, properties and interpretation of the budget gap indicators," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 2, pages 112-132, April.
    16. repec:voj:journl:v:63:y:2016:i:2:p:211-230 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Kazakova, Maria & Nesterova, Kristina, 2015. "Long-Term Forecast of the Main Parameters of the Budgetary System of Russia," Published Papers 2309, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    18. Margit Molnar, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 5. What Factors Determine the Success of Consolidation Efforts?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 936, OECD Publishing.
    19. Kaja Fredriksen, 2013. "Fiscal Consolidation Across Government Levels - Part 2. Fiscal Rules for Sub-central Governments, Update of the Institutional Indicator," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1071, OECD Publishing.
    20. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: How Much, How Fast and by What Means?," OECD Economic Policy Papers 1, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    consolidation budgétaire; fiscal consolidation; fiscal gaps; écarts budgétaire;

    JEL classification:

    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt

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