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Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.
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Fiscal Devaluation – Can it Help to Boost Competitiveness?
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- Isabell Koske1
- Author Affiliations
- 1: OECD, France
- 02 Oct 2013
- Bibliographic information
The recent crisis has revealed large differences in external competitiveness between euro area member countries. Since nominal exchange rate devaluation is not an option for members of a currency area, governments in troubled member countries have been considering so-called fiscal devaluation, i.e. a shift from employers’ social security contribution to value added tax, as an alternative means to restore competitiveness. This paper discusses the potential benefits and drawbacks of such a reform and investigates under which circumstances it would have the intended effects. It argues that a fiscal devaluation can have transitory effects, but that any permanent real effects are likely to be small in size. The policy tool can thus not be a substitute for deeper structural reforms of labour, product and financial markets. However, it may be helpful as part of a broader package of reforms.
- competitiveness, fiscal devaluation, value added tax, social security contributions
- JEL Classification:
- E62: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook / Fiscal Policy
- F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
- H23: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies