How Strong are Fiscal Multipliers in the GCC? An Empirical Investigation
21 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2011
Date Written: March 2011
The effectiveness of fiscal policy in smoothing the impact of shocks depends critically on the size of fiscal multipliers. This is particularly relevant for the GCC countries given the need for fiscal policy to cushion the economy from large terms of trade shocks in the absence of an independent monetary policy and where fiscal multipliers could be weak dues to substantial leakages through remittances and imports. The paper provides estimates of the size of fiscal multipliers using a variety of models. The focus is on government spending since tax revenues are small. The long-run multiplier estimates vary in the 0.3-0.7 range for current expenditure and 0.6-1.1 for capital spending, depending on the particular specification and estimation method chosen. These estimates fall within the range of fiscal multiplier estimates in the literature for non-oil emerging markets.
Keywords: Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, External shocks, Fiscal policy, Government expenditures, Nonoil sector, Saudi Arabia
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