Gilles Dufrénot

  • Faculty

Château Lafarge
Route des Milles
13290 Les Milles
Phone: +33 (0) 413 94 20 11
Aix-Marseille University
Faculty of Economics and Management
Research themes:
Development economics
University of Paris 12
Fiscal policies enhancing growth in Europe: does one size fit all?, Carine Bouthevillain and Gilles Dufrénot, Oxford Economic Papers, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp. 1146-1165, 2016

This paper provides evidence of various reactions of growth rates to changes in the composition of taxes and public spending in Europe. We use a quantile estimator to allow different slopes of fiscal variables, across countries and years. We find that sovereign spending should be encouraged in the medium term if growth is low, but the medium-term effect on the economic activity is not positive in situations of moderate or rapid growth. Human capital expenditure jeopardizes growth, if a country belongs to the group of under-performers, while the initial costs are progressively transformed into growth-friendly factors for the group of over-achievers. Welfare expenditure is unproductive in the medium term, but only above a given growth threshold. Higher direct taxes are more harmful for low-growth countries, since their effects are more persistent than for countries with high growth. Our findings are contrary the idea that one size fits all.

L'Amérique latine dans la globalisation financière : a-t-on appris des crises passées ?, Gilles Dufrénot, Revue d'économie financière, Volume 124, Issue 4, pp. 61-77, 2016

This paper discusses the monetary and exchange policies followed by Latin American countries during the financial crises that have appeared each decade since the beginning of the 1980s. We examine the implications of a phenomenon defined by Reinhart as “this time is different”. In particular, we report errors in the diagnosis of the structural causes of past financial crises, and the damages caused by the choice of fixed exchange rates. The article also looks at the problems facing the countries today: the resource curse, the dilemma between currency appreciation and financial bubbles, inflation targeting policy. We suggest that governments have learned from past crises, by further anchoring their financial policies to the reality of their economies: the exchange rate regime is no longer the guiding element of inflation policy, loans in local currency have increased due to the rise in domestic bond markets, monetary policies have remained accommodative during the 2008 financial crisis, and central banks have used swap agreements to meet their needs of international currencies. Classification JEL: E52, F14, F31, F33, F42, O11, O54.

Regime-Dependent Fiscal Multipliers in the United States, Gilles Dufrénot, Aurélia Jambois, Laurine Jambois and Guillaume Khayat, Open Economies Review, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp. 923-944, 2016

This paper proposes a regime-dependent model to estimate fiscal multipliers in the US. Output, consumption and investment are assumed to respond to tax and spending changes in a nonlinear manner. Fiscal multipliers are time-varying because their size and sign depend upon the state of the economy (upturns and downturns). Keynesian effects appear essentially during downturns, while anti-Keynesian effects are observed during expansions. Transfer payments contributes to a higher private consumption when they are given to consumers in bad times. Reducing taxes boosts consumption in good times. Investment responds positively to lower taxes during downturns, but negatively in the upturn regime. Our results thus suggest that Keynesian effects have been associated to expansionary policies during recessions, while anti-Keynesian effects were observed during expansions illustrating situations of expansionary fiscal consolidation. The effectiveness of fiscal positive impulses increases in downturns relative to upturns. A corollary is therefore that austerity measures during recessions would have detrimental effects on the GDP and its components.

Nonlinear effects of asset prices on fiscal policy: Evidence from the UK, Italy and Spain, Luca Agnello, Gilles Dufrénot and Ricardo M. Sousa, Economic Modelling, Volume 44, Issue C, pp. 358-362, 2015

We test for nonlinear effects of asset prices on the fiscal policy of three major European economies (the UK, Italy and Spain). We model primary government spending and government revenue as time-varying transition probability Markovian processes (TVPMS). We find that while in Italy fiscal policy is substantially neutral vis-à-vis asset price movements, fiscal authorities in the UK and Spain seem to track the dynamics of wealth. In particular, revenue-based fiscal policy interventions in the UK are particularly effective in counteracting shocks in the asset markets induced by sharp wealth fluctuations. Similarly, in Spain, the spending-side of the fiscal policy plays a dominant role in stabilizing stock and housing markets.

A Comparison of the Fed’s and ECB’s Strategies during the Subprime Crisis, Marcel Aloy and Gilles Dufrénot, In: Monetary Policy in the Context of the Financial Crisis: New Challenges and Lessons, W. A. Barnett and F. Jawadi (Eds.), 2015-07, Volume 24, pp. 419-449,Chapitre12, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015

Abstract This chapter proposes a comparative analysis of the monetary policies undertaken by the Federal Reserve Board and the European Central Bank after the 2008 subprime crisis. We point out the twin nature of the financial crises in Europe in comparison with the US crises: in addition to the role of bank funding, the euro area countries have also experienced a structural problem of balance of payment disequilibria. This explains why in the early stages of the subprime crisis, the Fed has succeeded in tackling the illiquidity problems facing the banking sector, while the ECB did not. The Fed could then focus on tackling the recession in the real sector by adopting quantitative easing policies to exert downward pressure on the long-term interest-rate. In the euro area quantitative easing policies came later, in 2013. Even the forward guidance policies have been different between the two central banks. Unlike the ECB, the Fed has gone through diverse forward guidance policies: qualitative, calendar-based, and state-contingent. The chapter proposes a new survey of the monetary policies after the subprime crisis by comparing two strategies in different contexts: the United States and the euro area.