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OECD Development Centre Policy Insights

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. OECD Development Centre Policy Insights is a series of policy-oriented occasional papers drawn from the Development Centre’s Work Programme. All titles are generally available in the two official languages of the OECD: English and French.

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Taxes and Spending in Latin America

First Stability, Now Development

Latin America has not neglected fiscal policy. Since the end of the debt crisis of the 1980s, governments in the region have tightened their belts assiduously. Fiscal deficits have fallen from 11 per cent of public revenues in the 1970s and 1980s, to only 8 per cent since 2000. The year-to-year volatility of taxes, spending and deficits – long a feature of fiscal policy making in the region with harmful effects for economic performance – has likewise fallen: an index of deficit volatility calculated by the OECD Latin American Economic Outlook 2009 shows a fall of a third from 1990-94 to 2000-06, with Latin America standing just 6 per cent above the volatility levels in OECD countries in the latter period.

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