The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond [E-Book] / Paul van den Noord
van den Noord, Paul.
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2000
32 p. ; 21 x 29.7cm.
OECD Economics Department Working Papers ; 230
Full Text
This paper assesses to what extent some components of government budgets affected by the macroeconomic situation operate to smooth the business cycle in individual OECD countries. It is shown that these automatic fiscal stabilisers have generally reduced cyclical volatility in the 1990s. However, in some countries the need to undertake fiscal consolidation in order to improve public finances has forced governments to take discretionary actions that have reduced, or even offset, the effect of automatic fiscal stabilisers. This paper also shows that, by preventing sharp economic fluctuations, fiscal stabilisers may raise long-term economic performance and avoid frequent changes in spending or tax rates. However, they should be employed symmetrically over the cycle in order to avoid costly debt accumulation ...