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Cyclical fiscal policy in developing countries: the case of Africa

The paper documents three pieces of empirical evidence on fiscal policy in Africa. First, a bigger government increases the volatility of output growth. Second, fiscal policy has substantially Keynesian effects. Third, fiscal policy instruments in Africa behave either pro-cyclically or a-cyclically, but practically never counter-cyclically. Taken together, these three findings imply that fiscal policy does not contribute to output stabilization. Quite the contrary, in several African countries fiscal policy is a source of volatility. Given the large development costs of volatility, ways to encourage the adoption of a counter-cyclical fiscal policy stance are then discussed.

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File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/mrg/2408.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series MRG Discussion Paper Series with number 2408.

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Handle: RePEc:qld:uqmrg6:24
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," NBER Working Papers 11600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. J. Galí & D. López-Salido & J. Vallés, 2003. "Understanding the effects of government spending on consumption," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Vegh, 2004. "When it Rains, it Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Working Papers 10780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christopher Otrok, 2000. "On Measuring the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1094, Econometric Society.
  5. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar S. Prasad & Marco E. Terrones, 2005. "Growth and Volatility in an Era of Globalization," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(si), pages 31-63.
  6. Schclarek, Alfredo, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Private Consumption in Industrial and Developing Countries," Working Papers 2003:20, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 30 Sep 2005.
  7. Sutherland, Alan, 1995. "Fiscal Crises and Aggregate Demand: Can High Public Debt Reverse the Effects of Fiscal Policy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Andres, Javier & Domenech, Rafael & Fatas, Antonio, 2008. "The stabilizing role of government size," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 571-593, February.
  9. Paolo Manasse, 2007. "Deficit Limits and Fiscal Rules for Dummies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(3), pages 455-473, July.
  10. Bas van Aarle & Harry (ed.) Garretsen, 2001. "Keynesian, Non-Keynesian or No Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes? The EMU Case," CESifo Working Paper Series 570, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
  12. Martin, Philippe & Ann Rogers, Carol, 2000. "Long-term growth and short-term economic instability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 359-381, February.
  13. Giavazzi, Francesco & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Searching for Non-Linear Effects of Fiscal Policy: Evidence from Industrial and Developing Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2374, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 1999. "Government Size and Automatic Stabilizers: International and Intranational Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Carmignani, Fabrizio, 2008. "The impact of fiscal policy on private consumption and social outcomes in Europe and the CIS," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 575-598, March.
  16. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "Hypothesis Testing with Efficient Method of Moments Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 777-87, October.
  17. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
  18. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Stephane Pallage & Michel A. Robe, 2003. "On the Welfare Cost of Economic Fluctuations in Developing Countries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 677-698, 05.
  20. Hnatkovska, Viktoria & Loayza, Norman, 2004. "Volatility and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3184, The World Bank.
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