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Faculty & Research


Fiscal Policy Volatility and Growth in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies

Journal Article
This paper studies the volatility of fiscal policy in a large sample of countries with a focus on emerging markets and developing economies and commodity exporters over 1990–2021. The findings show that fiscal policy has been more volatile in emerging markets and developing economies than in advanced economies, and in commodity exporters relative to non-commodity exporters over this period. The degree of commodity dependence, and institutional and policy variables can explain a large percentage of the cross-country variation in volatility. The existence of fiscal rules, a more liberalized capital account, and more flexible exchange rates are all associated with lower fiscal policy volatility. The paper also shows the negative macroeconomic consequences of this additional volatility on economic growth, finding that, over a 30-year period, it can explain 8 percent of the income gap between the emerging markets and developing economies and advanced economies in the sample.

Professor of Economics