The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper reviews the role of fiscal policy in a number of stabilization programs in Latin America since the early 1980s. The paper highlights the importance of sustainable fiscal adjustment in stabilization efforts, and discusses the main issues that arise in this context. By reviewing the Latin American experience, it is argued that responsibility for failed stabilization attempts can be traced to four main factors: inconsistent policy mixes; excessive reliance on temporary factors of improvement in the fiscal accounts; failure to implement fundamental fiscal reforms; and lack of complementary structural reforms.