By Gisli Glondal

Written by way of Gísli Blöndal, former consultant within the IMF's monetary Affairs division, the publication examines the economic coverage pursued by means of thirteen of the smaller commercial international locations over the interval 1972-82.

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It was a widely held view at this time that these tax reforms would substantially improve the fiscal armory for both allocation and stabilization purposes. Not all measures taken around this time were conducive to flexibility in fiscal policy, however. Foundations previously laid for generous social entitlement programs were being strengthened, and in a number of countries social security expenditure had been increasing rapidly since the 1960s. This development would prove a major element in the subsequent difficulties policymakers encountered in their attempts to control public expenditure growth.

Some countries, including Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Sweden, introduced special employment policies that were implemented through schemes either to increase public employment or to compensate private sector enterprises for increasing or maintaining the number of their employees. Also, a special boost was given to the objective of maintaining living standards through improvements in social benefits. Countries that pursued this policy with ©International Monetary Fund. Not for Redistribution Fiscal Stance After Mid-1970s 45 special vigor were Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and most of the Nordic countries.

Only in four countries— Australia, Austria, Iceland, and Ireland—was there a marked increase in the fiscal deficit in 1973. In Australia, the increase was the result of a conscious policy of fiscal expansion, in Austria and Ireland, a higher priority was assigned to stimulating activity through increased public spending; and in Iceland, incomes policy-oriented tax and expenditure measures led to fiscal deterioration. 11), except Denmark, Finland, and Luxembourg, which realized surpluses in both years, the size of the deficits was generally small compared with subsequent developments, and deficit financing did not pose problems at this time.

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Fiscal Policy in the Smaller Industrial Countries, 1972-82 by Gisli Glondal

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