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DP8749 Fiscal Policy as a Stabilization Tool
URL: http://www.cepr.org/pubs/new-dps/dplist.asp?dpno=8749.asp

Author(s): Antonio Fatás, Ilian Mihov
Date of Publication: January 2012

Programme Area(s): IM

Keyword(s): Business Cycles, Fiscal Policy, Stabilization

Abstract: We analyze empirically the cyclical behavior of fiscal policy among a group of 23 OECD countries. We introduce a framework to capture fiscal policy stance in a way that brings together automatic stabilizers and discretionary fiscal policy. We show that, for most countries, automatic changes in the budget balance play a stronger role in stabilizing output than discretionary fiscal policy. When compared across countries, changes in fiscal policy stance are predominantly linked to differences in government size. Tax revenues are close to being proportional to GDP and, combined with a relatively stable government spending, this leads to a countercyclical budget balance, which in turn helps stabilize aggregate demand. Furthermore, countries with less responsive automatic stabilizers, like the United States, tend to use countercyclical discretionary fiscal policy more aggressively. For all countries discretionary policy has become more aggressive in recent decades.

www.cepr.org

DP8749 Fiscal Policy as a Stabilization Tool Author(s): Antonio Fat�s , Ilian Mihov Publication Date: January 2012 …
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January 10, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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