Archive for the ‘Fiscal Policy’ Category

Fiscal Cyclicality and EMU

This is joint work with Philip Lane.

Abstract: For the set of EMU member countries, we examine cyclical patterns in fiscal outcomes. We find that there is significant time variation in fiscal cyclicality, with an improvement in the wake of the Maastricht Treaty but a deterioration after the creation of EMU. Furthermore, we show that the fiscal cycle is affected by the financial cycle in addition to the output cycle. The lessons for the current reforms of European economic and fiscal governance are manifest.

This paper can be downloaded from here.

Categories: Fiscal Policy

The Cyclical Conduct of Irish Fiscal Policy

This paper is joint work with Philip Lane prepared for the Irish Economy conference at Lehigh University.

Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the cyclical conduct of …fiscal policy in Ireland both before and during the crisis. It shows that fi…scal policy has been procyclical, with …financial shocks amplifying the fi…scal cycle. In addition, it highlights the importance of institutional reform and outlines the case for a formal …scal framework.

The paper can be downloaded from here.

Financial Cycles and Fiscal Cycles

This is a joint work with Philip Lane prepared for the EUI-IMF conference “Fiscal Policy, Stabilization and Sustainability“.

Abstract: There is a huge literature on the behaviour of fiscal variables in relation to the output cycle. In this paper, we show that fiscal variables also co-vary with the financial cycle, as captured by fluctuations in the current account balance and credit growth. These financial factors affect fiscal outcomes, over and above their influence on the output cycle. We argue that fiscal surveillance and the design of fiscal rules should pay close attention to the interaction between the financial cycle and the fiscal cycle.

The full paper can be downloaded from here.


Fiscal Shocks and Real Wages

Abstract: This paper studies the impact of fiscal shocks in a panel of eleven euro area member countries. It contributes to the existing literature by providing new empirical evidence on the effects of different types of spending shocks on real wages. The main finding is that an increase in government spending raises the real wage. However, its magnitude depends on the spending type. Shocks to government investment and to the number of public employees generate responses that are at the extremes of the wage response spectrum. The former produces the greatest effect, while the latter has zero impact.

This paper is forthcoming in International Journal of Finance & Economics.

An early view of the paper is available here.

International Differences in Fiscal Policy During the Global Crisis

This is a joint paper with Philip Lane.

Abstract: We examine the cross-country dispersion in fi scal outcomes during 2007-2009. In principle, international diff erences in fi scal policy may be related to differences in optimal fi scal positions, funding constraints, political economy factors and fiscal control problems. We fin d that the decline in the overall and structural fi scal balances have been larger for those countries experiencing larger increases in unemployment and where credit growth during the pre-crisis period was more rapid. However, there is no systematic co-variation between fiscal outcomes and a larger number of other macroeconomic variables and country characteristics.

This paper can be downloaded from here.

Categories: Fiscal Policy Tags: ,

Fiscal Shocks and The Sectoral Composition of Output

This is joint work with Philip Lane.

Abstract: We study the impact of shocks to different types of government spending on the sectoral composition of output for a panel of EMU member countries. We find that fiscal shocks lead to an increase in the relative size of the nontraded sector, with the impact varying across the different spending categories. There is typically no significant impact on the level of production in the tradables sector but the level of imports increases and the level of exports declines in most cases. Overall, the results show that fiscal shocks matter not only for aggregate variables but also for the sectoral composition of output. The sectoral output results are consistent with previous work concerning the impact of fiscal shocks on the real exchange rate and the relative price of nontradables.

This paper is published in Open Economies Review, 21(3): 335-350. It can be downloaded from here.

Categories: Fiscal Policy

From Great Depression to Great Credit Crisis: Similarities, Differences and Lessons

This is a joint work with Miguel Almunia, Barry Eichengreen, Kevin O’Rourke and Gisela Rua.

Abstract: The Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Credit Crisis of the 2000s had similar causes but elicited strikingly different policy responses. While it remains too early to assess the effectiveness of current policy, it is possible to analyse monetary and fiscal responses in the 1930s as a natural experiment or counterfactual capable of shedding light on the impact of current policies. We employ vector autoregressions, instrumental variables, and qualitative evidence for 27 countries in the period 1925–39. The results suggest that monetary and fiscal stimulus was effective — that where it did not make a difference it was not tried. They shed light on the debate over fiscal multipliers in episodes of financial crisis. They are consistent with multipliers at the higher end of those estimated in the recent literature, and with the argument that the impact of fiscal stimulus will be greater when banking systems are dysfunctional and monetary policy is constrained by the zero bound.

This paper is published in Economic Policy 62: 219-265. It can be downloaded from here.