What Is Fiscal Policy?
What Is Fiscal Policy?

What Is Fiscal Policy?

Published Jun 24, 2024Updated Jul 8, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Fiscal policy refers to how governments use taxation and government spending to influence economic conditions, including unemployment, inflation, and economic growth.

  • It’s a tool that allows authorities to guide the economy in a desirable direction by affecting the disposable income of individuals and businesses, which indirectly influences financial markets.

  • Through fiscal policy, governments fund various public services, such as education and healthcare. It also ensures economic stability and mitigates the negative aspects of both economic booms and downturns.


Economic stability and growth are key to the prosperity of nations. Governments can help achieve these goals by using various tools to influence economic conditions. The main objectives of fiscal policy include achieving economic stability, fostering economic growth, and redistributing wealth.

In this article, we will explore how fiscal policy works, how it may affect crypto markets, and some of its benefits and challenges.

What Is Fiscal Policy?

Fiscal policy refers to the use of taxes and government spending to influence the economy. By adjusting taxes and government expenditures, governments can control inflation, create jobs, and promote economic growth.

How Does Fiscal Policy Work?

There are three types of fiscal policy: neutral, expansionary, and contractionary.

Neutral fiscal policy

Neutral fiscal policy involves keeping the government budget balanced, meaning the amount the government spends equals the amount it earns. It is typically used to keep the economy stable and avoid any additional interventions.

Imagine Country A as a household managed by Alice and Bob. They carefully budget their monthly income and expenses to ensure they spend exactly what they earn. If Alice earns $1,000 and Bob earns $1,000, they plan their monthly expenses to total $2,000. This mirrors how government spending and revenue can be balanced during times of neutral fiscal policy, ensuring economic stability.kept in balance, ensuring economic stability.


In 2019, Germany pursued a neutral fiscal policy, maintaining a balanced budget. It was aimed at ensuring economic stability while avoiding new debt.

Expansionary fiscal policy

Expansionary fiscal policy involves increasing government spending and cutting taxes to stimulate economic growth. It is typically implemented during recessions or periods of high unemployment. The goal is to boost consumer and business spending, which can lead to job creation and increased economic activity.

Imagine that the government of Country B plans to stimulate the economy by reducing taxes. Alice and Bob, residents of Country B, suddenly realize they have more funds to spend. Alice uses her extra money to renovate her house while Bob buys a new computer. Demand for goods and services grows, creating more jobs and promoting economic activity.


During the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. government implemented an expansionary fiscal policy to revive the economy. Tax rebates were introduced to lower the tax burden on many households. This allowed people to keep more income, leading to more spending.

The increased spending led to higher demand for goods and services, prompting businesses to hire more workers. As employment rose, more people had money to spend, further boosting economic activity and supporting the economic recovery.

Contractionary fiscal policy

Contractionary fiscal policy involves reducing government spending and increasing taxes to slow economic growth and combat inflation. By taking money out of the economy, the government aims to reduce overall demand, which can help lower prices.

Imagine that the government of Country C wants to slow down inflation by increasing taxes. As a result, Alice and Bob, residents of Country C, find that they have less money to spend. Alice decides to delay her plans to buy a new car while Bob cancels his planned purchases. Consumer demand drops and businesses see a decline in sales. This helps cool down the economy and control the rising prices.


In the early 1980s, the U.S. government used a contractionary fiscal policy to combat inflation. They raised taxes and cut government spending to slow down the economy. Reducing overall demand helped stabilize prices. However, this also led to a temporary rise in unemployment, as businesses faced higher taxes and reduced consumer spending.

Fiscal Policy in Crypto

Fiscal policy can also impact financial markets, including the crypto market. While cryptocurrencies may operate independently of traditional markets, changes in fiscal policy can significantly affect the value of crypto assets.

Impact of expansionary fiscal policy

When the government implements an expansionary fiscal policy, more money flows into the economy. This extra cash leads to increased consumer spending and investment as people have more disposable income. In the context of crypto, this means that the population is more likely to buy cryptocurrencies, potentially raising prices.


Let’s say that Alice receives a tax cut, giving her extra disposable income. She decides to invest part of this extra money in bitcoin and ether. As more people like Alice invest their extra disposable income in cryptocurrencies, the demand for crypto assets rises. With enough demand and volume, the market prices tend to increase.

Impact of contractionary fiscal policy

When the government implements a contractionary fiscal policy, money is taken out of the economy, leading to lower consumer spending and investment. This means less disposable income for people to invest in cryptocurrencies, potentially lowering prices.

If Alice faces a tax hike, she has less money to spend or invest. Consequently, she might decide against buying more bitcoin or ether. With fewer people investing in cryptocurrencies, the demand drops, potentially leading to lower or stagnant prices.

Impact of government stimulus packages

Government stimulus packages, a form of expansionary fiscal policy, can also have an impact on crypto markets. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments offered financial aid to their citizens. Some recipients used this money to invest in cryptocurrencies, contributing to the surge in crypto prices.

Benefits of Fiscal Policy

Economic stability

Fiscal policy can stabilize the economy by managing inflation and reducing unemployment. Expansionary fiscal policy can stimulate growth and create jobs during economic downturns, while contractionary fiscal policy can help control inflation during economic booms.

Improved infrastructure 

Increased government spending can improve infrastructure, leading to better transportation systems and telecommunications. For example, China’s investment in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has enhanced its transportation infrastructure, boosting trade and economic growth.

Free public services

By taxing higher incomes at higher rates, governments can fund various public services. For example, Sweden uses progressive taxation to offer free healthcare and higher education, allowing people to access these regardless of income level. 

Closing Thoughts

Fiscal policy refers to the use of taxation and government spending to influence various economic conditions, such as inflation, unemployment, and economic growth. As fiscal policy influences the disposable income of individuals and businesses, it also indirectly impacts the crypto market. Some of its benefits include economic stability, improved infrastructure, and free public services.

Further Reading

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