Fiscal austerity in emerging market economies

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics


We build a small open economy RBC model with financial frictions to analyse spending and tax based fiscal consolidations in emerging market economies (EMEs). We show that if government spending is a substitute to private consumption in household utility, a spending based fiscal consolidation has an expansionary effect on output. In contrast, tax based consolidations are always contractionary irrespective of the strength of substitutability between government and private consumption. Our findings support the results in the World Economic Outlook (2010), USA: International Monetary Fund, that tax based consolidation measures are more costly (in terms of GDP losses) than spending based consolidations. We calibrate the model to India and calculate the fiscal multipliers associated with spending and tax based fiscal consolidations. Our paper identifies new mechanisms that underlie the dynamics of fiscal reforms and their implications for successful fiscal consolidations.



Publication Date



Open Access, Green