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Why should Turkey continue with strong fiscal adjustment? Lessons derived from the past

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2006
Paslı (Ağar), Mediha
Turkey managed to produce a strong fiscal adjustment during the period of 1999-2005 with the annual average of close to 5 percent. Moreover, with the help of this tight fiscal stance, Turkey’s public debt has been reduced from the peak of 90.5 percent of GNP in 2001 to 55.8 percent in 2005. Although this is a major achievement both in terms of the size and the speed, the challenge for Turkey is now to continue with fiscal adjustment in order to further reduce its public debt level which still poses a sizeable vulnerability risk for the economy. Therefore, in order to provide an answer to the sustainability question, this thesis first aims to (i) measure the fiscal adjustment in Turkey at the general government level during 1999-2005 period, (ii) analyze sources of fiscal adjustment based on the economic classification, institutional breakdown, and cyclical and structural components. After understanding size and sources of adjustment, the reduction in public debt will be decomposed into its parts including the contribution come from primary surplus. This will shed light on whether Turkey could still rely on those factors for further reduction in public debt in the future.