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 discusses in a systematic and comprehensive way the existing literature on the relationship between the growth of countries’ economies and various public finance instruments, such as tax policy, expenditure policy, and overall budgetary policy, from the perspectives of allocative efficiency, macroeconomic stability, and income distribution. It reviews both the conceptual linkages between each of the instruments and growth and the empirical evidence on such relationships. It broadly concludes that fiscal policy could play a fundamental role in affecting the long-run growth performance of countries.