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The Short-Term Budgetary Implications of Structural Reforms. Evidence from a Panel of EU Countries

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  • Deroose, Servaas
  • Turrini, Alessandro Antonio

Abstract

The EU fiscal framework has often been criticized for neglecting a possible trade-off between short-term budgetary objectives and the implementation of reforms that could improve public finances in the long term This concern was reflected in the recent reform of the Stability and Growth Pact, which acknowledges that under certain conditions structural reforms can be taken into account both in the preventive and in the corrective arm of the Pact. The aim of the paper is that of making a step forward on the understanding of the empirical relevance of the trade-off between structural reforms in EU countries. The analysis will focus on product and labour market reforms and pension reforms. The main issue investigated will be as follow: which impact do reforms have on budgets in the short term? Results show that, in the aftermath of reforms, budgets do not worsen significantly compared with cases where no reforms occur. However, when the short-term budgetary impact of reforms is evaluated controlling for the response of fiscal authorities to the cycle and debt developments via the estimation of “fiscal reaction functions”, there is evidence that product and market reforms and pension reforms are associated with a deterioration in budgets. The impact appears rather weak (a primary CAB reduced by few decimal GDP points depending on the specific reform considered) and not always statistically significant.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5217.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5217

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Keywords: deficits; Stability and Growth Pact; structural reforms;

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References

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  1. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
  2. Alesina, A. & Drazen, A., 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," Papers 6-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  3. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1998. "The Stability Pact: more than a minor nuisance?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 65-113, 04.
  4. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Larch, Martin & Turrini, Alessandro, 2008. "Received wisdom and beyond: Lessons from fiscal consolidations in the EU," MPRA Paper 20604, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Beetsma, Roel M.W.J. & Debrun, Xavier, 2007. "The new stability and growth pact: A first assessment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 453-477, February.
  3. Alessandro Girardi & Paolo Paesani, 2008. "Structural Reforms and Fiscal Discipline in Europe," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 389-402, September.
  4. Buti, Marco & Röger, Werner & Turrini, Alessandro Antonio, 2007. "Is Lisbon far from Maastricht? Trade-offs and Complementarities between Fiscal Discipline and Structural Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 6204, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Athanasios Tagkalakis, 2009. "Fiscal adjustments: do labor and product market institutions matter?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 389-411, June.
  6. Turrini, Alessandro, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation in Reformed and Unreformed Labour Markets: A Look at EU Countries," IZA Policy Papers 47, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Christian Dreger & Manuel Art�s & Rosina Moreno & Raúl Ramos & Jordi Suri�ach, 2007. "Study on the feasibility of a tool to measure the macroeconomic impact of structural reforms," European Economy - Economic Papers 272, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  8. F. Heylen & A. Hoebeeck & T. Buyse, 2011. "Fiscal consolidation, institutions and institutional reform: a multivariate analysis of public debt dynamics," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/763, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  9. Paul van den Noord & Bj�rn D�hring & Sven Langedijk & Jo�o Nogueira Martins & Lucio Pench & Heliodoro Temprano-Arroyo & Michael Thiel, 2008. "The Evolution of Economic Governance in EMU," European Economy - Economic Papers 328, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

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