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.
The paper analyzes Chile's structural balance fiscal rule in the face of copper price shocks originating in foreign copper demand. It uses a version of the IMF's Global Integrated Monetary and Fiscal Model (GIMF) that includes a copper sector. Two results are obtained. First, Chile's current fiscal rule performs well if the policymaker puts a small weight on output volatility (relative to inflation volatility) in his/her objective function. A more aggressive countercyclical fiscal rule can attain lower output volatility, but there is a trade-off with (somewhat) higher inflation volatility and (much) higher volatility of fiscal variables. Second, given its current stock of government assets, Chile's adoption of a 0.5% surplus target starting in 2008 is desirable from a business cycle perspective. This is because the earlier 1% target would have required significant further asset accumulation that could only have been accomplished at the expense of greater volatility in fiscal instruments and therefore in GDP.