Automatic Stabilisers and Market Flexibility in EMU [E-Book]: Is There A Trade-Off? / Marco Buti ... [et al]
Buti, Marco.
Martinez-Mongay, Carlos. / Sekkat, Khalid. / van den Noord, Paul.
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2002
28 p. ; 21 x 29.7cm.
OECD Economics Department Working Papers ; 335
Euro Area
Full Text
It is often claimed that tax and welfare reforms that aim at enhancing efficiency may come at the cost of cyclical stabilisation. Reducing the generosity of welfare systems and lowering taxes may boost efficiency and output, and improve market adjustment to shocks. But, by reducing the size of automatic stabilisers, it may also imply less cyclical smoothing. This would be unwelcome in EMU given the loss of national monetary autonomy and the well-known pitfalls of active fiscal management. This paper argues that the alleged trade-off between efficiency/flexibility and stabilisation may not exist. We show that, if the initial level of the tax burden is high, reducing it may lead to higher output stabilisation in the event of a supply shock and higher inflation stabilisation in the event of a demand shock. The threshold level of taxation depends on the preferences of the central bank over inflation and output. Econometric and numerical simulations show that European countries — ...