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Mr. Hamid R Davoodi, Paul Elger, Alexandra Fotiou, Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia, Xuehui Han, Andresa Lagerborg, W. Raphael Lam, and Mr. Paulo A Medas
Adoption of fiscal rules and fiscal councils continued to increase globally over the last decades based on two new global datasets. During the pandemic, fiscal frameworks were put to test. The widespread use of escape clauses was one of the novelties in this crisis, which helped provide policy room to respond to the health crisis. But the unprecedented fiscal actions have led to large and widespread deviations from deficit and debt limits. The evidence shows that fiscal rules, in general, have been flexible during crises but have not prevented a large and persistent buildup of debt over time. Experience shows that deviations from debt limits are very difficult to reverse. The paper also presents evidence on the benefits of a good track record in abiding by the rules. All these highlight the difficult policy choices ahead and need to further improve rules-based fiscal frameworks.
Mr. Nicolas End, Mariam El Hamiani Khatat, and Rym Kolsi
In this paper, we argue that inflation targeting could be the future of Tunisia’s monetary policy. Monetary targeting has proven to be ineffective due to the composition of reserve money, structural liquidity deficit, and higher instability of the money multiplier after 2010. Exchange rate targeting is no longer feasible due to the level of international reserves, current account deficit, and inflation differentials with main trading partners. The Central Bank of Tunisia has already made important progress toward inflation targeting. The paper evidences the existence of increasingly effective interest rate transmission as well as the changing exchange rate passthrough to inflation with the gradual move toward further exchange rate flexibility.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar and Simon Voigts
We argue that in an economy with downward nominal wage rigidity, the output gap is negative on average. Because it is more difficult to cut wages than to increase them, firms reduce employment more during downturns than they increase employment during expansions. This is demonstrated in a simple New Keynesian model with asymmetric wage adjustment costs. Using the model's output gap as a benchmark, we further show that common output gap estimation methods exhibit a systematic bias because they assume a zero mean. The bias is especially large in deep recessions when potential output tends to be most severely underestimated.