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.
For a number of countries - Italy, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, and France - this paper develops an inter-temporal model that elicits the implied country-preferences over balancing the conflicting objectives of fiscal consolidation and reduction of economic slack. The model suggests that some front-loading of adjustment is desirable, although the extent would vary by country preferences. It also finds that proposed consolidations may prove to be stronger than acceptable, especially if somewhat larger than anticipated fiscal multipliers lead to a sizeable economic deceleration.