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Determinants of Cyclicality of Fiscal Surpluses in The OECD Countries

  • Mackiewicz, Michał

In this paper we examine factors that make some governments revert to procyclical fiscal policies despite the standard normative prescription being to conduct fiscal policy countercyclically. In order to avoid the pitfalls of the two-step methods previous studies have typically used we used a one-step method with interaction variables. We found robust statistical evidence that procyclical fiscal policies are typically run by countries with weak institutions. There was also some empirical support for a hypothesis that countries that have accumulated a high debt-to-GDP ratio tend to run procyclical fiscal policies, possibly as a result of the financial constraints. We found no evidence that any other variable among the ones suggested in the literature explains the way in which governments react to the business cycle.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/16034/1/MPRA_paper_16034.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16034.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16034
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  1. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2004. "Political Budget Cycles in New versus Established Democracies," NBER Working Papers 10539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Filipe R. Campante & Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1006-1036, 09.
  3. Lane, P.R. & Tornell, A., 1998. "Why Aren't Savings Rates in Latin America Procyclical?," Papers 642, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. Giovanni S. F. Bruno, 2005. "Estimation and inference in dynamic unbalanced panel-data models with a small number of individuals," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(4), pages 473-500, December.
  5. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  8. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  9. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng., 1980. "Estimation of Dynamic Models with Error Components," Working Papers 336, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  12. W. J. Henisz, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Economic Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-31, 03.
  13. Ernesto Talvi & Carlos A. Vegh, 2000. "Tax Base Variability and Procyclical Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Perry, Guillermo, 2003. "Can fiscal rules help reduce macroeconomic volatility in the Latin America and Caribbean Region?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3080, The World Bank.
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