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Fiscal multipliers over the growth cycle : evidence from Malaysia

  • Rafiq, Sohrab
  • Zeufack, Albert
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    This paper explores the stabilisation properties of fiscal policy in Malaysia using a model incorporating nonlinearities into the dynamic relationship between fiscal policy and real economic activity over the growth cycle. The paper also investigates how output multipliers for government purchases may alter for different components of government spending. The authors find that fiscal policy in Malaysia has become increasingly pro-cyclical over the last 25 years and establish that the size of fiscal multipliers tend to change over the growth cycle. A 1 Malaysian Ringgit rise in government (investment) spending leads to a maximum output multiplier of around 2.7 during growth recessions, and around 2 in normal times. The returns to government spending in Malaysia are greater when the focus is on public investment, as opposed to consumption. Changes in tax policy are less effective in stimulating economic activity than direct government spending. These results provide empirical backing to conjectures in the recent literature implying that procyclicality in fiscal policy reduces the effectiveness of fiscal actions in emerging markets.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5982.

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    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5982
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    1. Weise, Charles L, 1999. "The Asymmetric Effects of Monetary Policy: A Nonlinear Vector Autoregression Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 85-108, February.
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    4. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-27, May.
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    11. Gulasekaran Rajaguru & Tilak Abeysinghe, 2004. "Quarterly real GDP estimates for China and ASEAN4 with a forecast evaluation," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 431-447.
    12. Aghion, Philippe & Angeletos, George-Marios & Banerjee, Abhijit & Manova, Kalina, 2010. "Volatility and growth: Credit constraints and the composition of investment," Scholarly Articles 12490636, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    13. Romp, Ward & de Haan, Jakob, 2005. "Public capital and economic growth: a critical survey," EIB Papers 2/2005, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    14. Tagkalakis, Athanasios, 2008. "The effects of fiscal policy on consumption in recessions and expansions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1486-1508, June.
    15. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar.
    16. Kirchner, Markus & Cimadomo, Jacopo & Hauptmeier, Sebastian, 2010. "Transmission of government spending shocks in the euro area: Time variation and driving forces," Working Paper Series 1219, European Central Bank.
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