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Fiscal Austerity Measures: Spending Cuts vs. Tax Increases

Author

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  • Gerhard Glomm

    (Department of Economics, Indiana University - Bloomington)

  • Juergen Jung

    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

  • Chung Tran

    (Research School of Economics, The Australian National University)

Abstract

We formulate an overlapping generations model with skill heterogeneity and productive and non-productive government programs to study the macroeconomic and intergenerational welfare effects caused by risk premium shocks and government debt reductions. We demonstrate that in a small open economy with a high level of debt-to-GDP ratio a small increase in the risk premium leads to substantial output contraction and negative welfare effects. Next, we quantify the effects of reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio using a wide range of fiscal austerity measures. These reforms result in trade-offs between short-run contractions and long-run expansions in aggregate output. In addition, the spending-based austerity reform is dominated by the tax-based reform in terms of income in the short run, but becomes dominant in the long run. The welfare effects vary significantly across generations, depending on fiscal austerity measures, skills and working sector. The current old and middle age generations experience welfare losses while current young workers and future generations are beneficiaries of the reforms. A mixed reform results in the largest welfare effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerhard Glomm & Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2013. "Fiscal Austerity Measures: Spending Cuts vs. Tax Increases," Working Papers 2013-01, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2013-01
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Shu-Ling, 2021. "Fiscal stimulus in a high-debt economy? A DSGE analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 118-135.
    2. Karamysheva, Madina, 2022. "How do fiscal adjustments work? An empirical investigation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    3. George Economides & Dimitris Papageorgiou & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2020. "Macroeconomic policy lessons for Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 152, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    4. George Economides & Dimitris Papageorgiou & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2020. "Macroeconomic Policy Lessons for Greece from the Debt Crisis," CESifo Working Paper Series 8188, CESifo.
    5. Gerhard Glomm & Juergen Jung, 2015. "A Macroeconomic Analysis Of Energy Subsidies In A Small Open Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(4), pages 1783-1806, October.
    6. Dimakopoulou, Vasiliki & Economides, George & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 2022. "The ECB's policy, the Recovery Fund and the importance of trust and fiscal corrections: The case of Greece," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    7. Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro & Mr. Salvatore Dell'Erba & Ksenia Koloskova, 2014. "Medium-Term Fiscal Multipliers during Protracted Recessions," IMF Working Papers 2014/213, International Monetary Fund.
    8. George Economides & Dimitris Papageorgiou & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2021. "Austerity, Assistance and Institutions: Lessons from the Greek Sovereign Debt Crisis," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 435-478, July.
    9. Tetsuo Ono, 2020. "Fiscal rules in a monetary economy: Implications for growth and welfare," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 22(1), pages 190-219, February.
    10. George Kudrna & Chung Tran, 2015. "Budget Repair Measures: Tough Choices for Australia's Future," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2015-628, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    11. Richard Jaimes, 2020. "Fiscal adjustments at the local level: evidence from Colombia," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(5), pages 1148-1173, October.
    12. Economides, George & Papageorgiou, Dmitris & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 2020. "Macroeconomic policy lessons from Greece," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 107155, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Germaschewski, Yin & Wang, Shu-Ling, 2022. "Fiscal stabilization in high-debt economies without monetary independence," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    14. Vasiliki Dimakopoulou & George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2021. "The ECB's Policy, the Recovery Fund and the Importance of Trust: The Case of Greece," CESifo Working Paper Series 9371, CESifo.
    15. Dell'Erba, Salvatore & Koloskova, Ksenia & Poplawski-Ribeiro, Marcos, 2018. "Medium-term fiscal multipliers during protracted economic contractions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 35-52.
    16. Cardani, Roberta & Menna, Lorenzo & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2020. "The Optimal Policy Mix To Achieve Public Debt Consolidation," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 113-129, January.
    17. Maria Ferrara & Elisabetta Marzano & Monica Varlese, 2022. "Fiscal Consolidation Plans with Underground Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 9622, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal consolidation; welfare; distributional effects; overlapping generations; dynamic general equilibrium.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • 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
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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