1887

OECD Journal on Budgeting

The OECD journal on public sector budgeting, published three times per year. It draws on the best of the recent work of the OECD Working Party of Senior Budget Officials (SBO), as well as special contributions from finance ministries, and makes it available to a wider community in an accessible format. The journal provides insight on leading-edge institutional arrangements, systems and instruments for the allocation and management of resources in the public sector. Now published as a part of the OECD Journal subscription package.

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The abuse and misuse of the term “Austerity” Implications for OECD countries

Austerity has become a widely used term in economic research and popular media as many countries have recently implemented deficit reduction policies. This article begins by exploring definitions of austerity used in research and the ways these different definitions impact analysis of policy effects. The article then takes into account a number of factors that can affect the outcome of these so-called austerity measures, including economic conditions, time period, and parties impacted by the policies. Without a clear definition of austerity and the contexts under which it is implemented, a conclusive analysis of austerity’s effects cannot be conducted. This article concludes that the term “austerity” will remain a confusing term that can breed misunderstanding, social uprisings, political unrest, and ill-prescribed solutions to economic problems.

JEL classification: H10, H12, H41, H60

Keywords: Austerity, spending cuts, deficits, tax increases, recession

English

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