NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Campbell B. Leith

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Working Papers

February 2012Uncertain Fiscal Consolidations
with Huixin Bi, Eric M. Leeper: w17844
The paper explores the macroeconomic consequences of fiscal consolidations whose timing and composition are uncertain. Drawing on the evidence in Alesina and Ardagna (2010), we emphasize whether or not the fiscal consolidation is driven by tax rises or expenditure cuts. We find that the composition of the fiscal consolidation, its duration, the monetary policy stance, the level of government debt and expectations over the likelihood and composition of fiscal consolidations all matter in determining the extent to which a given consolidation is expansionary and/or successful in stabilizing government debt.

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