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The cyclicality of monetary and fiscal policy in South Africa since 1994

Author

Listed:
  • Stan du Plessis

    (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)

  • Ben Smit

    (Bureau of Economic Research, Stellenbosch University)

  • Federico Sturzenegger

    (Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University)

Abstract

This paper uses an SVAR approach to discuss the cyclicality of fiscal and monetary policy in South Africa since 1994. There is substantial South African literature on this topic, but much disagreement remains. Though not undisputed, there is growing consensus that monetary policy has contributed to the remarkable stabilisation of the South African economy over this period. The evaluation of the role of fiscal policy in stabilisation has been less favourable and there is little evidence that a countercyclical fiscal stance was a priority over this period. This paper considers these issues in an empirical framework that addresses some of the shortcomings in the literature. Specifically, it constructs a structural model in contrast with the reduced form models typically used in the South African literature, incorporates the dynamic interaction between monetary and fiscal shocks on the demand side and supply shocks on the other, and avoids controversy over ‘neutral’ base years and the size of fiscal elasticities. The model confirms the consensus on monetary policy, finding it to have been largely countercyclical since 1994. On fiscal policy, this paper finds evidence of pro-cyclicality, especially in the more recent period, though the policy simulations suggest that the pro-cyclicality of fiscal policy has had little destabilising impact on real output.

Suggested Citation

  • Stan du Plessis & Ben Smit & Federico Sturzenegger, 2007. "The cyclicality of monetary and fiscal policy in South Africa since 1994," Working Papers 12/2007, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers43
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    Cited by:

    1. Jooste, Charl & Liu, Guangling (Dave) & Naraidoo, Ruthira, 2013. "Analysing the effects of fiscal policy shocks in the South African economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 215-224.
    2. Goodness C. Aye & Mehmet Balcilar & Rangan Gupta & Charl Jooste & Stephen M. Miller & Zeynel A. Ozdemir, 2012. "Fiscal Policy Shocks and the Dynamics of Asset Prices: The South African Experience," Working Papers 201228, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    3. Sean J. Gossel & Nicholas Biekpe, 2013. "The Cyclical Relationships Between South Africa's Net Capital Inflows and Fiscal and Monetary Policies," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(2), pages 64-83, March.
    4. Aye, Goodness C. & Balcilar, Mehmet & Bosch, Adél & Gupta, Rangan, 2014. "Housing and the business cycle in South Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 471-491.
    5. Mats Lundahl & Lennart Petersson, 2009. "Post-Apartheid South Africa: An Economic Success Story?," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2009-56, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Jean-Louis Combes & Rasmané Ouedraogo, 2014. "Does Pro-cyclical Aid Lead to Pro-cyclical Fiscal Policy? An Empirical Analysis for Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers halshs-01084600, HAL.
    7. Rangan Gupta & Charl Jooste & Kanyane Matlou, 2014. "A time-varying approach to analysing fiscal policy and asset prices in South Africa," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(1), pages 46-63, April.
    8. Adél Bosch & Franz Ruch, 2013. "An Alternative Business Cycle Dating Procedure for South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 81(4), pages 491-516, December.
    9. Goodness C. Aye, 2021. "Effects of Fiscal and Monetary Policy Uncertainty on Economic Activity in South Africa," Advances in Decision Sciences, Asia University, Taiwan, vol. 25(1), pages 167-187, March.
    10. Irene Yackovlev & Victor Duarte Lledo & Lucie Gadenne, 2009. "Cyclical Patterns of Government Expenditures in Sub-Saharan Africa: Facts and Factors," IMF Working Papers 2009/274, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Leon du Toit, 2009. "Economic Crises, Stabilisation Policy and Output in Emerging Market Economies," Working Papers 20/2009, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    12. Jeffrey Frankel & Ben Smit & Federico Sturzenegger, 2008. "South Africa: Macroeconomic challenges after a decade of success1," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(4), pages 639-677, October.
    13. Lumengo BONGA-BONGA, 2009. "Monetary Policy and Long Term Interest Rate in South Africa," EcoMod2009 21500016, EcoMod.
    14. Alexander Zimper, 2014. "The minimal confidence levels of Basel capital regulation," Journal of Banking Regulation, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 15(2), pages 129-143, April.
    15. Kambale Kavese & Andrew Phiri, 2019. "Fiscal cyclicality in South African public expenditures: Do asymmetries explain inconsistencies?," Working Papers 1909, Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela University, revised Sep 2019.
    16. Goodness C. Aye & Mehmet Balcilar & Rangan Gupta, 2020. "The Effectiveness Of Monetary Policy In South Africa Under Inflation Targeting: Evidence from a Time-Varying Factor-Augmented Vector Autoregressive Model," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 54(4), pages 55-73, October-D.
    17. Itchoko Motande Mondjeli Mwa Ndjokou and Christophe Martial Mbassi, 2018. "Does Financial Development Explain the Cyclicality of Monetary Policy in Sub-saharan Africa?," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 43(4), pages 71-84, December.
    18. Goodness C. Aye, 2021. "Effects of Fiscal and Monetary Policy Uncertainty on Economic Activity in South Africa," International Association of Decision Sciences, Asia University, Taiwan, vol. 25(1), pages 167-187, March.
    19. Goodness C. Aye, 2020. "Effect of Fiscal and Monetary Policies on Economic Activities in South Africa: The Role of Policy Uncertainty," Working Papers 202082, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    20. Johannes Hermanus Kemp, 2020. "Empirical estimates of fiscal multipliers for South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-91, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stabilisation policy; Monetary policy; Inflation targeting; Fiscal policy; Pro-cyclical policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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