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Fiscal Rules and Composition Bias in OECD Countries

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  • Momi Dahan
  • Michel Strawczynski

Abstract

Using a sample of OECD countries, this paper finds that while fiscal rules succeeded in reducing total government expenditures and budget deficits in the medium term, they significantly affected the composition of government expenditure: the ratio of social transfers to government consumption declined. In contrast, we do not find a stable effect of fiscal rules on public investment. It is shown that the compositional shift against social transfers is beyond “from welfare to work” policies, which have been adopted by many OECD countries during the nineties. Our empirical examination reveals that the reduction of social transfers relative to government consumption did not occur in countries with strong legal protection to social rights.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2010/wp-cesifo-2010-06/cesifo1_wp3088.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3088.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3088

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Related research

Keywords: fiscal rules; government deficit; government expenditure; expenditures composition;

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References

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Ricardo Hausmann & Rudolf Hommes & Ernesto Stein, 1996. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Performance in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 5586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stéphanie Guichard & Mike Kennedy & Eckhard Wurzel & Christophe André, 2007. "What Promotes Fiscal Consolidation: OECD Country Experiences," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 553, OECD Publishing.
  3. Fabrizio Balassone & Daniele Franco, 2000. "Public investment, the Stability Pact and the ‘golden rule’," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 207-229, June.
  4. Signe Krogstrup & Sébastien Wälti, 2008. "Do fiscal rules cause budgetary outcomes?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 123-138, July.
  5. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2004. "Improving the SGP Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Ismael Sanz & Francisco J. Velázquez, 2003. "Fiscal illusion, fiscal consolidation and government expenditure composition in the OECD: a dynamic panel data approach," European Economy Group Working Papers 21, European Economy Group.
  7. Ben-Bassat, Avi & Dahan, Momi, 2008. "Social rights in the constitution and in practice," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 103-119, March.
  8. George Kopits, 2001. "Fiscal Rules," IMF Working Papers 01/145, International Monetary Fund.
  9. James M. Poterba, 1993. "State Responses to Fiscal Crisis: The Effects of Budgetary Institutionsand Politics," NBER Working Papers 4375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  11. John P. Martin, 1998. "What Works Among Active Labour Market Policies: Evidence From OECD Countries' Experiences," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
  12. H. Badinger, 2009. "Fiscal rules, discretionary fiscal policy and macroeconomic stability: an empirical assessment for OECD countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(7), pages 829-847.
  13. James Banks & Richard Disney & Alan Duncan & John Van Reenen, 2004. "The internationalisation of public welfare policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 769, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. John Creedy & Solmaz Moslehi, 2007. "Modelling the Composition of Government Expenditure in Democracies," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1007, The University of Melbourne.
  15. Martin, John P. & Grubb, David, 2001. "What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies," Working Paper Series 2001:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  16. Alan J. Auerbach, 2008. "Federal Budget Rules: The US Experience," NBER Working Papers 14288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Alberto Alesina & Tamim Bayoumi, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Fiscal Rules: Evidence from U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2010. "Global Warming And Extreme Events: Rethinking The Timing And Intensity Of Environmental Policy," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 236, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  2. Bea Cantillon, 2010. "Disambiguating Lisbon. Growth, Employment and Social Inclusion in the Investment State," Working Papers 1007, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  3. Osterloh, Steffen & Heinemann, Friedrich & Kalb, Alexander, 2013. "Sovereign risk premia: The link between fiscal rules and stability culture," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80043, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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