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Fiscal policy in developing countries : a framework and some questions

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  • Perotti, Roberto

Abstract

This paper surveys fiscal policy in developing countries from the point of view of long-run growth. The first section reviews existing methodologies to estimate the effects of fiscal policy shocks and of systematic fiscal policy, with time series or with cross-sectional methods, and their applicability to developing countries. The second section surveys optimal fiscal policy in developing countries, by considering the role of the intertemporal government budget, and sustainability and solvency. It also reviews the fuzzy debate on"fiscal space"and"macroeconomic space"- and the usefulness (or lack thereof) of these terms for policy analysis. The third section asks what theory tells us about the optimal cyclical behavior of fiscal policy in developing countries. It shows that it very much depends on the assumptions about the interactions between credit market imperfections at the individual, firms, or government level, and on the supply of external funds to the country. Different sets of assumptions lead to different implications about optimal cyclical behavior. The available evidence on the cyclical behavior of fiscal policy, and possible reasons for the observed prevalence of a procyclical behavior in developing countries, is also reviewed. If one agrees that fiscal policy is indeed less countercyclical than we think is optimal, the issue is how to correct the problem. One obvious question is why government do not self-insure, i.e. why they do not accumulate assets in upturns and decumulate them in downturns. This leads to the analysis of fiscal rules and stabilization funds, in the fourth section. The last section concludes with what the author considers important research and policy questions in each part.

Suggested Citation

  • Perotti, Roberto, 2007. "Fiscal policy in developing countries : a framework and some questions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4365, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4365
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fanelli, José María & Jiménez, Juan Pablo, 2009. "Crisis, volatility and fiscal policy in Latin America," Documentos de Proyectos 4167, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    2. Gómez Sabaini, Juan Carlos & Jiménez, Juan Pablo, 2009. "El papel de la política tributaria frente a la crisis: límites y posibilidades," Documentos de Proyectos 4166, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    3. Céline Carrère & Jaime de Melo, 2015. "Fiscal Spending and Economic Growth: Some Stylized Facts," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 7, pages 167-196 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. -, 2009. "Macroeconomic policies in times of crisis: options and perspectives," Documentos de Proyectos 275, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    5. Kacef, Osvaldo, 2009. "Crisis and public policies in Latin America and the Caribbean," Documentos de Proyectos 4168, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    6. Cerón, Juan A., 2012. "La respuesta de la política fiscal a la actividad económica en los países desarrollados/Fiscal policy reaction to economic activity in developed countries," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 30, pages 369(32)-369, Abril.
    7. Ales MELECKY & Martin MACHACEK, 2010. "The Role Of National And Supranational Fiscal Rules - International Evidence And Situation In The Czech Republic," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 5(4(14)/ Wi), pages 375-382.
    8. Đurović-Todorović Jadranka & Vuković Marija, 2016. "Empirical Evaluation of the Fiscal Position in Serbia," Economic Themes, De Gruyter Open, vol. 54(2), pages 217-232, June.
    9. -, 2008. "Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2007-2008: Macroeconomic policy and volatility," Estudio Económico de América Latina y el Caribe, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1067 edited by Eclac.
    10. Fanelli, José María & Jiménez, Juan Pablo, 2009. "Crisis, volatilidad y política fiscal en América Latina," Documentos de Proyectos 4165, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).

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    Keywords

    Economic Stabilization; Debt Markets; Public Sector Expenditure Analysis&Management; Economic Theory&Research;

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