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Fiscal Consolidation: How Much, How Fast and by What Means?

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. Consolidating public finances in order to address the consequences of the crisis, underlying weaknesses and also future spending pressures creates important challenges. Fiscal consolidation requires choices to be made about how much consolidation is needed, how fast it should be implemented and which instruments should be used. 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. 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 : Quelle ampleur, quel rythme et quels moyens ? La crise économique et financière a servi de catalyseur à une crise budgétaire qui submerge de nombreux pays de l’OCDE. Assainir les finances publiques pour faire face aux conséquences de la crise, aux faiblesses sous-jacentes ainsi qu’aux pressions futures sur les dépenses publiques représente un défi majeur pour bon nombre de pays. La consolidation budgétaire implique des choix quant à l’ampleur de la consolidation nécessaire, au rythme auquel elle doit être mise en œuvre et aux moyens à utiliser. 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 œuvre 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 à court terme. Dans la plupart des pays, il est possible de cibler plus efficacement les programmes de dépenses et d’éliminer les distorsions de la fiscalité. 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 minimum les coûts pour la croissance à long terme.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: How Much, How Fast and by What Means?," OECD Economic Policy Papers 1, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaab:1-en
    DOI: 10.1787/5k9bj10bz60t-en
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1787/5k9bj10bz60t-en
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    1. Gauche/Droite : La réalité de la hausse de la dette sous les différents gouvernements
      by contact@captaineconomics.fr (Le Captain') in Captain Economics on 2012-04-25 11:20:48

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter A. Schmid, 2013. "The destabilizing effect of company income taxation," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 35(3), pages 365-388, September.
    2. Alari PaulusBy & Francesco Figari & Holly Sutherland, 2017. "The design of fiscal consolidation measures in the European Union: distributional effects and implications for macro-economic recovery," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 632-654.
    3. Margit Schratzenstaller, 2012. "Zwischen Konsolidierung und Wachstum. Bundesfinanzrahmen 2013-2016, "Konsolidierungspaket II" und Stabilitätsprogramm," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 85(5), pages 361-380, May.
    4. Krzysztof Kluza, 2017. "Risk assessment of the local government sector based on the ratio analysis and the DEA method. Evidence from Poland," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 7(3), pages 329-351, December.
    5. Caroline Klein & Robert Price & Andreas Wörgötter, 2013. "Improving the Fiscal Framework to Enhance Growth in an Era of Fiscal Consolidation in Slovakia," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1018, OECD Publishing.
    6. Chuluunbayar, Delgerjargal, 2019. "The US Fiscal Consolidation, its impact and policy implications," MPRA Paper 98223, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Bergljot B Barkbu & Jesmin Rahman & Rodrigo O. Valdes, 2012. "Fostering Growth in Europe Now," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 12/07, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Beblavý, Miroslav & Marconi, Gabriele & Maselli,Ilaria, 2015. "A European Unemployment Benefits Scheme: The rationale and the challenges ahead," CEPS Papers 10952, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    9. Angelika Knollmayer & Aleksandra Riedl & Maria Antoinette Silgoner, 2015. "The mixed success of EU-IMF adjustment programs in Europe – why Greece was different," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 52-70.
    10. I. Bukina S. & И. Букина С., 2018. "Политика Финансовой Консолидации И Развитие Экономики В Условиях Внешних Шоков // The Policy Of Financial Consolidation And Economic Development In The Face Of External Shocks," Финансы: теория и практика/Finance: Theory and Practice // Finance: Theory and Practice, ФГОБУВО Финансовый университет при Правительстве Российской Федерации // Financial University under The Government of Russian Federation, vol. 22(1), pages 6-21.
    11. Shinji Asanuma, 2015. "Fiscal Sustainability & Competitiveness in Europe and Asia by Ramkishen S. Rajan , Tan Khee Giap and Tan Kong Yam Palgrave Macmillan , New York , 2014 xii+202. ISBN 978 1 137 40696 5," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 29(1), pages 194-195, May.
    12. Ondra Kamenik & Zdenek Tuma & David Vavra & Zuzana Smidova, 2013. "A Simple Fiscal Stress Testing Model: Case Studies of Austrian, Czech and German Economies," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1074, OECD Publishing.
    13. Eduardo L. Giménez & Miguel Rodríguez, 2016. "Optimality of relaxing revenue-neutral restrictions in green tax reforms," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1605, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    14. Margit Schratzenstaller, 2012. "Between Consolidation and Growth: Federal Financial Framework 2013-2016, "Consolidation Package II" and Stability Programme," Austrian Economic Quarterly, WIFO, vol. 17(3), pages 187-206, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal consolidation; fiscal gaps;

    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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