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Asymmetric Fiscal Stabilization Policy and the Public Deficit: Theory and Evidence

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Abstract

This paper studies the implications of asymmetric fiscal stabilization policy for the budget deficit. In our model, the government is more concerned about downturns than upturns in economic activity and therefore conducts fiscal stabilization policy in a precautionary way. We show that this type of behavior results in a deficit which on average exceeds its target levelt. We test our hypothesis empirically and find that asymmetric preferences for output stabilization are consistent with how fiscal policy was conducted in a sample of OECD countries during 1987-2005. According to our estimates, the upward bias due to precautionary behavior accounted for roughly 13 percent of the average deficit.

Suggested Citation

  • Karin Mayr & Johann Scharler, 2009. "Asymmetric Fiscal Stabilization Policy and the Public Deficit: Theory and Evidence," Vienna Economics Papers 0908, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vie:viennp:0908
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberta Moreira Wichmann & Marcelo Savino Portugal, 2014. "Política Fiscal Assimétrica: O Caso Do Brasil," Anais do XLI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 41st Brazilian Economics Meeting] 038, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. repec:fgv:epgrbe:v:67:n:3:a:6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wichmann, Roberta Moreira & Portugal, Marcelo Savino, 2013. "Política Fiscal Assimétrica: O Caso do Brasil," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 67(3), September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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