Found 40 article(s) for author 'Alberto Alesina'

The Effects of Fiscal Consolidations: Theory and Evidence

The Effects of Fiscal Consolidations: Theory and Evidence. Alberto Alesina, May 2017, Paper, “We investigate the macroeconomic effects of fiscal consolidations based upon government spending cuts, transfers cuts and tax hikes. We extend a narrative dataset of fiscal consolidations, finding details on over 3500 measures. Government spending and transfer cuts reduce output by less than tax hikes. Standard New Keynesian models match our results when fiscal shocks are persistent. Wealth effects on aggregate demand mitigates the impact of a persistent spending cut. Static distortions caused by persistent tax hikes cause larger shifts in aggregate supply under sticky prices. This channel explains different sizes of multipliers found in fiscal stimuli compared to consolidation plans.Link

Tags: , , , ,

Is it the “How” or the “When” that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments?

Is it the “How” or the “When” that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments? Alberto Alesina, October 2016, Paper, “Using data from 16 OECD countries from 1981 to 2014, we find that the composition of fiscal adjustments is much more important than the state of the cycle in determining their effects on output. Fiscal adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly than those based upon tax increases, regardless of whether the adjustment starts in a recession or not.Link

Tags: , , ,

Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution

Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution. Alberto Alesina, October 26, 2016, Paper, “Using newly collected cross-country survey and experimental data, we investigate how beliefs about intergenerational mobility affect individuals’ preferences for redistribution. We start by documenting the anatomy of views on mobility, fairness, the government, and redistribution across five countries: France, Italy, Sweden, the U.S., and the U.K. We show that Americans are more optimistic than Europeans about intergenerational mobility, and are generally too optimistic relative to reality, especially about the chances of making it from the very bottom to the very top quintile.Link

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Effects of Austerity: Recent Research

The Effects of Austerity: Recent Research. Alberto Alesina, October 2015, Paper. “What are the costs in terms of output losses of so-called “austerity” policies designed to reduce large government deficits and mounting public debt? The debate on this issue is raging, especially after the latest round of austerity in Europe.  The question is difficult to answer for at least three reasons. The first is “endogeneity,” the two-way interaction between fiscal policy and output growth. Suppose you observe a reduction in the government deficit and an economic boom. It would be highly questionable to conclude that deficit reduction policies generate growth…Link

Tags: ,

The output effect of fiscal consolidation plans

The output effect of fiscal consolidation plans. Alberto Alesina, June 2015, Paper. “We show that the correct experiment to evaluate the effects of a fiscal adjustment is the simulation of a multi-year fiscal plan rather than of individual fiscal shocks. Simulation of fiscal plans adopted by 16 OECD countries over a 30-year period supports the hypothesis that the effects of consolidations depend on their design. Fiscal adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly, in terms of output losses, than tax-based ones and have especially low output costs when they consist of permanent rather than stop-and-go changes in taxes and spending…Link

Tags: , , , ,

The Political Economy of Government Debt

The Political Economy of Government Debt. Alberto Alesina, March 2015, Paper. “This paper critically reviews the literature which explains why and under which circumstances governments accumulate more debt than it would be consistent with the prescriptions of optimal fiscal policy. Departures from optimality are linked to various political mechanisms which make real world governments depart from what a social planner should do. We also discuss numerical rules or institutional designs which might lead to a moderation of these distortions.” Link

Tags: , , ,

Technology and Labor Regulations: Theory and Evidence

Technology and Labor Regulations: Theory and Evidence, Alberto Alesina, January 4, 2015, Paper, This paper shows that different labor market policies can lead to differences in technology across sectors in a model of labor saving technologies. Labor market regulations reduce the skill premium and as a result, if technologies are labor saving, countries with more stringent labor regulation, which are binding for low skilled workers, become less technologically advanced in their high-skilled sectors, and more technologically advanced in their low-skilled sectors. We then present data on capital output ratios, on estimated productivity levels and on patent creation, which support the predictions of our model. Link

Tags: , , , ,

Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity

Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity. Alberto Alesina, February 2015, Paper. “We propose an index of population diversity based on people’s birthplaces and decompose it into a size (share of foreign-born) and a variety (diversity of immigrants) component. We show that birthplace diversity is largely uncorrelated with ethnic, linguistic or genetic diversity and that the diversity of immigration relates positively to measures of economic prosperity. This holds especially for skilled immigrants in richer countries at intermediate levels of cultural proximity. We partly address endogeneity by specifying a pseudo-gravity model predicting…” Link 

Tags: , ,

Technology and Labor Regulations: Theory and Evidence

Technology and Labor Regulations: Theory and Evidence. Alberto Alesina, January 2015, Paper. “This paper shows that different labor market policies can lead to differences in technology across sectors in a model of labor saving technologies. Labor market regulations reduce the skill premium and as a result, if technologies are labor saving, countries with more stringent labor regulation, which are binding for low skilled workers, become less technologically advanced in their high-skilled sectors, and more technologically advanced in their low-skilled sectors. We then present data on capital output ratios, on estimated productivity levels and on patent creation, which support the predictions of our model.” Link

Tags: , , ,

Austerity in 2009-2013

Austerity in 2009-2013, Alberto Alesina, September 29, 2014, Paper, The deficit reduction policies (often referred to as fiscal “austerity”) followed by several OECD countries in 2009-13 were motivated, especially in the European Union, by the bond market reaction to large debts and deficits. They were certainly not meant to cool down overheating economies. On the contrary, several countries had to adopt deficit reduction policies when recessions were not quite over and credit crunches were still retarding the recovery. The aim of this paper is to provide an empirical measure of the effects of these deficit reduction policies on output growth. The summer of 2014, when we write, is probably the earliest time when one can begin to assess the effects of these policiesLink

Tags: , , , , , , ,