I have Dani Rodrik’s weblog to my list of regularly visited sites and his most recent post provides a super example of how a country can accumulate a fiscal surplus when macroeconomic conditions are favourable giving the government scope for an appropriate and sustainable fiscal stimulus in the face of global economic uncertainty and a downturn in commodity markets.

Notice from the chart above just how dependent is Chile on exports of copper

“Until the current crisis hit, Chile’s economy was booming, fueled in part by high world prices for copper, its leading export.  The government’s coffers were flush with cash.  (Chile’s main copper company is state-owned, which may be a surprise to those who think Chile runs on a free-market model!)  Students demanded more money for education, civil servants higher salaries, and politicians clamored for more spending on all kinds of social programs. Being fully aware of Latin America’s commodity boom-and-bust-cycles and recognizing that high copper prices were temporary, Velasco stood his ground and decided to do what any good macroeconomist would do:  smooth intertemporal consumption by saving most of the copper surplus.  He ran up the largest fiscal surpluses Chile has seen in modern times.”

More here

Featured
CPD courses

Teaching the New A Level Economics: Financial Markets

From bond yields to coupons; from the PRA to the FCA. The new A Level Economics specifications from Sept 2015 include more substantial coverage of financial markets. This resource-packed CPD course will help you quickly get up to speed with the new teaching content and provide you with lesson resources you can use straightaway.

Learn more ›

Teaching & learning products

The UK Economy in 2015 Revision Guide

This new full colour 28 page revision guide by tutor2u's Geoff Riley provides all AS & A2 Economics students with a data and chart-rich summary of the key issues facing the UK Economy in 2015.

£4.00

Edexcel AS Economics Worked Answers (2014)

Exemplar A Grade answers, with Examiner commentary, to the Edexcel AS Economics Unit 1 and Unit 2 exam papers sat in summer 2014

£5.00