Devemos evitar a austeridade orçamental?

“Can austerity be self-defeating?” de Daniel Gros (Vox.eu)

It is sometimes argued that a cut in expenditure (or an increase in taxes) would be self-defeating because it reduces demand so much that tax revenues fall so strongly that as a result the deficit actually increases. In standard models this is kind of ‘Laffer curve’ effect is actually not possible. Moreover, if it were true, it would follow that an increase in expenditure could actually lead to lower deficits because higher growth could increase tax revenues so much that they outweigh the increase in expenditure. This proposition has been tested several times in the US, and always found failing.(…)

[T]his condition might be satisfied for countries with debt/GDP ratio higher than 100% if we believe certain ‘Keynesian’ models with fiscal multipliers that exceed one (ie the impact of higher expenditure on output is larger than the amount of expenditure itself). However, in most ‘neo-Keynesian’ models the ‘multipliers’ are often considerably lower than this. If these models describe reality better it is unlikely that austerity could be self-defeating – even in the short run.(…)

The basic point is simple. The permanent deficit cut lowers the growth rate of debt, while the permanent impact on GDP is of the path-lowering type, not the growth-lowering type. Thus any initial increase in debt/GDP will be reversed over time.

Of course an even more extreme version would have it that permanent deficit cuts reduce the long-run growth rate, but this is not a result found in even the most extreme Keynesian models.(…)

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