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Fiscal Rules and Government Size in the European Union

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  • Jochen O. Mierau
  • Eduard Suari Andreu

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of national fiscal rules on government size as measured by the ratio of government expenditures to gross domestic product. We develop a model of the budgetary process and show that a common pool problem may arise which can be mitigated through fiscal rules. We test the model’s predictions using a novel time-series cross-section dataset of 27 European Union members for the period between 1990 and 2011. Corroborating the model, we find that fiscal rules have a negative impact on government size. Contrasting the model, their impact becomes smaller as the number of ministers increases.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2014/wp-cesifo-2014-03/cesifo1_wp4693.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4693.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4693

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Keywords: political fragmentation; fiscal rules; government size;

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  1. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes, 2013. "Lack Of Commitment And The Level Of Debt," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1053-1078, October.
  2. von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
  3. George Kopits & Steven A. Symansky, 1998. "Fiscal Policy Rules," IMF Occasional Papers 162, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per, 2012. "Does the size of the legislature affect the size of government? Evidence from two natural experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 269-278.
  5. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Feld, Lars P., 2009. "Do large cabinets favor large governments? Evidence on the fiscal commons problem for Swiss Cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 35-47, February.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
  7. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
  8. Jakob de Haan & Helge Berger & David-Jan Jansen, 2004. "Why has the Stability and Growth Pact Failed?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 235-260, 07.
  9. Charles Wyplosz, 2011. "Fiscal Discipline: Rules Rather than Institutions," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 217(1), pages R19-R30, July.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
  11. Patricia Funk & Christina Gathmann, 2013. "How Do Electoral Systems Affect Fiscal Policy? Evidence From Cantonal Parliaments, 1890–2000," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1178-1203, October.
  12. Marcela Eslava, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Deficits: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 645-673, 09.
  13. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  14. Xavier Debrun & Laurent Moulin & Alessandro Turrini & Joaquim Ayuso-i-Casals & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2008. "Tied to the mast? National fiscal rules in the European Union," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 23, pages 297-362, 04.
  15. Jakob de Haan & Richard Jong-A-Pin & Jochen O. Mierau, 2012. "Do Budgetary Institutions Mitigate the Common Pool Problem? New Empirical Evidence for the EU," KOF Working papers 12-303, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
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