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The Great Recession, 'Rainy Day' Funds, and Countercyclical Fiscal Policy in Latin America

Eduardo Fernandez-Arias and Peter Montiel

No 2010-04, Center for Development Economics from Department of Economics, Williams College

Abstract: This paper examines the fiscal policy options that were available to Latin American countries at the onset of the current global economic crisis. It concludes that most of the major countries in the region possessed the fiscal space (as measured by credible fiscal sustainability and debt headroom) to run prudent countercyclical fiscal deficits. For those countries, the appropriate policy response involved a constrained fiscal expansion focused on productive public spending and financed by drawing on the “rainy day” funds - in the form of large stocks of foreign exchange reserves - that they accumulated in prior years, rather than by market borrowing. It shows that the recent surge in multilateral financial activity to alleviate market illiquidity, whether intended for reserve or budget support, strengthens the case for this policy prescription : with multilateral support, the appropriate policy response is more expansionary, and its financing is less reliant on market borrowing.

Keywords: countercyclical policy; fiscal space; international reserves; multilateral financial support (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E62 E63 F34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2010-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lam, nep-mac and nep-pke
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

Published in Contemporary Economic Policy, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-7287.2010.00244.x

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Related works:
Journal Article: THE GREAT RECESSION, “RAINY DAY” FUNDS, AND COUNTERCYCLICAL FISCAL POLICY IN LATIN AMERICA (2011)
Working Paper: The Great Recession, 'Rainy Day' Funds, and Countercyclical Fiscal Policy in Latin America (2010) Downloads
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