Adjusting to external imbalances within the EMU, the case of Portugal
From 1995 to 2010 Portugal has accumulated a negative international asset position of 110 percent of GDP. In a developed and aging economy the number is astonishing and any argument to consider it sustainable must rely on extremely favorable forecasts on growth. Portuguese policy options are reduced in number: no autonomous monetary policy, no currency to devaluate, and limited discretion in changing fiscal deficits and government debt. To start the necessary deleveraging a remaining possible policy is a budget-neutral change of the tax structure that increases private saving and net exports. An increase in the VAT and a decrease in the employer’s social security contribution tax can achieve the desired outcome in the short run if they are complemented with wage moderation. To obtain a substantial improvement in competitiveness and a large decrease in consumption, the changes in the tax rates have to be large. While a precise quantitative assessment is difficult, the initial increase in the effective VAT rate needed to allow the social security tax to decrease by 16 percentage points (pp) is approximately 10 pp. Such a large increase in the effective VAT rate could be obtained by raising most of the reduced VAT rates to the new general VAT rate of 23 percent. The empirical analysis shows that over time the suggested tax swap could generate surpluses and improve the trade balance. A temporary version of the suggested tax-swap has the attractiveness to achieve a sharper increase in the private saving rate maintaining the short run gains in competitiveness. Finally, the temporary version of the fiscal devaluation could be the basis for an automatic stabilizer to external imbalances within a monetary union. JEL codes:
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Campus de Campolide, 1099-032 Lisboa|
Phone: (351) 21 3801638
Fax: (351) 21 3870933
Web page: http://www.fe.unl.pt
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- European Commission, 2009. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2009 edition," Taxation trends 2009, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
- Blanchard, Olivier J & Galí, Jordi, 2008.
"Labour Markets and Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Model with Unemployment,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2010. "Labor Markets and Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Model with Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-30, April.
- Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2006. "Labor markets and monetary policy: A new-Keynesian model with unemployement," Economics Working Papers 1076, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2008.
- Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Gali, 2008. "Labor Markets and Monetary Policy: A New-Keynesian Model with Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2005.
"Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments,"
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,
Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 67-146.
- Kenneth Rogoff & William Brainard & George Perry, "undated". "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Working Paper 33687, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- JÃ¶rg Decressin & Emil Stavrev, 2009. "Current Accounts in a Currency Union," IMF Working Papers 09/127, International Monetary Fund.
- Bernardino Adão & Isabel Horta Correia & Pedro Teles, 2006.
"On the Relevance of Exchange Rate Regimes for Stabilization Policy,"
w200616, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
- Adao, Bernardino & Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 2009. "On the relevance of exchange rate regimes for stabilization policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1468-1488, July.
- Adão, Bernardino & Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 2006. "On the Relevance of Exchange Rate Regimes for Stabilization Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Pedro Teles & Isabel Correia & Bernardino Adao, 2007. "On the Relevance of Exchange Rate Regimes for Stabilization Policy," 2007 Meeting Papers 616, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Lipińska, Anna & von Thadden, Leopold, 2009. "Monetary and fiscal policy aspects of indirect tax changes in a monetary union," Working Paper Series 1097, European Central Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unl:unlfep:wp556. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sean Story)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.