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Does the Broad Public Want to Consolidate Public Debt? – The Role of Fairness and of Policy Credibility

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  • Helmut Stix

Abstract

The paper tests selected long-standing hypotheses about why voters support or oppose fiscal consolidation. Deviating from most of the empirical literature which mainly focuses on cross-sectional and time series evidence, this paper employs data from a public opinion survey that has been conducted in spring 2010 in Austria. The results show (i) that voters are fiscally prudent, that (ii) they behave rationally in the sense that self-interest matters, that (iii) they care for the next generation (this effect is surprisingly small), that (iv) the distributional fairness among the current generation is as at least as important as the intergenerational aspect and that (v) the low credibility of medium-term fiscal policy plans can be a serious impediment to voters’ support for consolidation. These results bear direct implications on the design of fiscal consolidation plans.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

Volume (Year): 66 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 102-129

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Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:66:y:2013:i:1:p:102-129

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Cited by:
  1. Fidrmuc, Jarko & Hake, Mariya & Stix, Helmut, 2013. "Households’ foreign currency borrowing in Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1880-1897.
  2. Bernd Hayo & Florian Neumeier, 2014. "The Debt Brake in the Eyes of the German Population," MAGKS Papers on Economics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) 201441, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  3. Pierre MANDON, 2014. "Evaluating Treatment Effect and Causal Effect of Fiscal Rules on Procyclicality New assessments on old debate: rules vs. discretion," Working Papers halshs-01015760, HAL.
  4. Georgia Kaplanoglou & Vassilis T. Rapanos & loanna C. Bardakas, 2014. "Does fairness matter for the success of fiscal consolidation?," Working Papers 180, Bank of Greece.
  5. Heinemann, Friedrich & Osterloh, Steffen & Kalb, Alexander, 2013. "Sovereign risk premia: The link between fiscal rules and stability culture," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-016, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Pierre MANDON, 2014. "Evaluating Treatment Effect and Causal Effect of Fiscal Rules on Procyclicality New assessments on old debate: rules vs. discretion," Working Papers halshs-01015756, HAL.
  7. Pierre Mandon, 2014. "Evaluating Treatment Effect and Causal Effect of Fiscal Rules on Procyclicality," Working Papers hal-01015439, HAL.
  8. Bernd Hayo & Florian Neumeier, 2013. "Public Attitudes Toward Fiscal Consolidation: Evidence from a Representative German Population Survey," MAGKS Papers on Economics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) 201351, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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