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Beware of Big Fiscal

The Emerging View

03 April 2019

Picture yourself in charge of the government of a rich country. You discovered soon after taking office that you are unable to pass structural reforms, so you have relied on easy monetary policy for growth. This worked well while there was spare capacity, but now the economy is nearing full employment and slowing and monetary policy is clearly losing effectiveness. How to keep growth going? The best strategy is to reform, but most developed countries are more likely to return to deficit spending – Big Fiscal – than to reform. This presents a dilemma, because fiscal spending is costly in already heavily indebted countries. We set out what a return to Big Fiscal means for developed countries and why Emerging Market (EM) countries for the most part are unlikely to pursue a similar approach.

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