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Dealing with Unexpected Shocks to the Budget

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  • Elena Gennari
  • Raffaela Giordano
  • Sandro Momigliano

Abstract

We assess the impact of unexpected shocks to real interest rates and GDP growth on government budgets for nine European Union countries. Shocks are estimated as onestep-ahead forecast errors arising from a recursive bivariate VAR model. Our analysis is relevant, in particular, to deciding what safety margins are needed to limit the risk of the deficit's exceeding the 3% Maastricht threshold. The approach followed differs in two respects from standard analyses aiming at defining budgetary positions that satisfy the Stability and Growth Pact. First, whereas the latter examine only fluctuations in economic activity, we also consider fluctuations in interest rates. Second, whereas standard analyses focus on deviations from trends and define margins for the mediumterm cyclically adjusted balance, we examine unexpected shocks and define margins for nominal balances. The results point to significant differences in the required margins across countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 61 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 201-

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200507)61:2_201:dwustt_2.0.tx_2-e

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Keywords: budgeting; stability and growth pact; forecast errors;

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References

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  1. Bohn, Henning, 1990. "Tax Smoothing with Financial Instruments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1217-30, December.
  2. Michael Artis & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2001. "Fiscal forecasting: The track record of the IMF, OECD and EC," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages S20-S36.
  3. M. Buti & D. Franco & H. Ongena, 1997. "Budgetary Policies during Recessions - Retrospective Application of the "Stability and Growth Pact" to the Post-War Period," European Economy - Economic Papers 121, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  4. Marín, José M., 2002. "Sustainability of public finances and automatic stabilisation under a rule of budgetary discipline," Working Paper Series 0193, European Central Bank.
  5. Canova, Fabio, 1998. "Detrending and business cycle facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 475-512, May.
  6. Thomas Dalsgaard & Alain de Serres, 1999. "Estimating Prudent Budgetary Margins for 11 EU Countries: A Simulated SVAR Model Approach," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 216, OECD Publishing.
  7. Bouthevillain, C. & Van Den Dool, G. & Langenus, G. & Mohr, M. & Momigliano, S. & Tujula, M. & De Cos, P.H. & Cour-Thimann, Philippine, 2001. "Cyclically Adjusted Budget Balances: an Alternative Approach," Papers 77, Quebec a Montreal - Recherche en gestion.
  8. Ray Barrell & Ian Hurst & Álvaro Pina, 2002. "Fiscal Targets, Automatic Stabilisers and their Effects on Output," Working Papers Department of Economics 2002/05, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  9. Buti, Marco & Franco, Daniele & Ongena, Hedwig, 1998. "Fiscal Discipline and Flexibility in EMU: The Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 81-97, Autumn.
  10. Missale, Alessandro, 1999. "Public Debt Management," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290858.
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Cited by:
  1. Kempkes, Gerhard, 2012. "Cyclical adjustment in fiscal rules: Some evidence on real-time bias for EU-15 countries," Discussion Papers 15/2012, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.

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