Um tiro no pé

Já há evidência empírica de que os planos de consolidação orçamental coordenados podem ser auto-destrutivos. John Portes usou o modelo econométrico NIGEM para analisar a questão e chega à conclusão de que os rácios de dívida estão mais altos, e não mais baixos, como resultado da política orçamental seguida nos dois últimos anos. Self-defeating austerity, no Vox. Alerta para jornalistas: há cálculos para Portugal.

It has been argued that the poor growth performance of most EU countries (including the UK as well as Eurozone countries) in the last two years cannot be primarily attributed to fiscal consolidation, given the historical evidence on its impacts. This paper suggests the contrary: when account is taken of the magnified impact of consolidation in a depressed economy, and of the spillover effects of coordinated fiscal consolidation across almost EU countries, fiscal multipliers will indeed be considerably elevated, and the impact on growth correspondingly larger.

The direct implication is that the policies pursued by EU countries over the recent past have had perverse and damaging effects. Our simulations suggest that coordinated fiscal consolidation has not only had substantially larger negative impacts on growth than expected, but has actually had the effect of raising rather than lowering debt-GDP ratios, precisely as some critics have argued. Not only would growth have been higher if such policies had not been pursued, but debt-GDP ratios would have been lower.

It is particularly ironic that, given that the EU was set up in part to avoid precisely such ‘prisoner’s dilemma’ type problems in economic policy coordination, it should currently be delivering the exact opposite. Current policy looks less like optimal coordination – and more like a suicide pact.

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