Terms of Trade Shocks and Fiscal Cycles
26 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2010 Last revised: 15 Aug 2010
Date Written: February 2010
The latest boom in commodity prices fueled concerns about fiscal policies in commodity-exporting countries, with many claiming that it triggered loose fiscal policy and left no funds for a rainy day. This paper examines the links between fiscal policy and terms-of-trade fluctuations using a sample of 74 countries, both developed and developing. It finds evidence that booms in the terms of trade do not necessarily lead to larger government surpluses in developing countries, particularly in emerging markets and especially during capital flow bonanzas. This is not the case in OECD countries, where fiscal policy is of an acyclical nature.
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