Cover of EconPol Working Paper 30

Fiscal Episodes in the EMU: Elasticities and Non-Keynesian Effects

António Afonso, Frederico Silva Leal

In this working paper, António Afonso (ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa; REM – Research in Economics and Mathematics, UECE) and Frederico Silva Leal (ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa; Portuguese Economy Ministry) estimate short- and long-run elasticities of private consumption for fiscal instruments. They find that positive tax revenue elasticities indicate that consumers have a Ricardian behaviour, while social benefits appear to have a non-Keynesian effect on private consumption. Private consumption continues to exhibit a non-Keynesian response to tax increases, and other expenditures have a recessive impact during normal times. After the launch of the EMU, expansionary fiscal consolidations became harder to observe.

Abstract

We estimate short- and long-run elasticities of private consumption for fiscal instruments, using a Fixed Effects model for the 19-euro area countries during the period of 1960-2017, to assess how fiscal elasticities vary during fiscal episodes. According to the results, positive “tax revenue” elasticities indicate that consumers have a Ricardian behaviour, whereby they perceive an increase in taxation to be a sign of future government spending. “Social benefits” appear to have a non-keynesian effect on private consumption. In addition, using a narrative approach to identify fiscal consolidations, it is seen that private consumption continues to exhibit a non-keynesian response to tax increases, both in the short and long-run, and “other expenditures” have a recessive impact during “normal times”. Furthermore, “social benefits” are more contractionary in consolidations than in both expansions and “normal times”. Additionally, after the launch of the EMU, expansionary fiscal consolidations became harder to observe, and “other expenditure” and “investment” lost their non-keynesian role.

Citation

António Afonso and Frederico Silva Leal: Fiscal Episodes in the EMU: Elasticities and Non-Keynesian Effects, EconPol Working Paper 30, October 2019.