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Stability Criteria and Convergence: The Role of the System of National Accounts for Fiscal Policy in Europe

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  • Tilman Brück
  • Andreas Cors
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann
  • Rudolf Zwiener

Abstract

The standardisation of the European systems of national accounts has progressed significantly in recent years. Some room for interpretation remains in regard to some accounting standards, the periodicity of the data, and the quality of the forecasts of budget deficits. Yet national accounts data of the eurozone countries are now a reliable basis for macroeconomic policy decisions. The stability and growth pact of the eurozone countries relies heavily on one indicator of fiscal discipline, the budget deficit as a share of gross domestic product. Drawing from simulation evidence of the German economy, it is argued that fulfilling the deficit target is no guarantee for achieving output stabilisation. The pact hence fails to internalise the externalities arising from a decentralised fiscal policy in the European monetary union. The deficit target could be replaced with an expenditure target. Given the macroeconomic policy objectives of the euro economies it would be more appropriate to hand the supervision of an amended stability pact to an independent council of economic experts. Such council could assess the macroeconomic environment more carefully and could have the authority to caution and fine fiscally irresponsible eurozone governments.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.38581.de/dp318.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 318.

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Length: 27 p.
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp318

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Keywords: Simulation; fiscal policy; international policy coordination;

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References

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  1. Michael J. Artis & Marco Buti, 2000. "'Close-to-Balance or in Surplus': A Policy-Maker's Guide to the Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 563-591, November.
  2. Buti, M. & Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Franco, D., 2003. "Revisiting the Stability and Growth Pact: Grand Design or Internal Adjustment?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-176184, Tilburg University.
  3. Beetsma, Roel & Debrun, Xavier & Klaassen, Franc, 2001. "Is Fiscal Policy Coordination in EMU Desirable?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
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  6. Marco Buti & Werner Roeger & Jan In't Veld, 2001. "Stabilizing Output and Inflation: Policy Conflicts and Co-operation under a Stability Pact," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 801-828, December.
  7. Beetsma, Roel & Uhlig, Harald, 1999. "An Analysis of the Stability and Growth Pact," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 546-71, October.
  8. Donatella Gatti, 2002. "Co-ordinating fiscal authorities in the euro-zone: a key role for the ECB," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 56-71, January.
  9. André Sapir, 2002. "EMU in the early years: differences and credibility," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8134, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Paul De Grauwe, 2000. "Monetary Policies in the Presence of Asymmetries," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 593-612, November.
  11. Gottfried Haber, 2001. "Simulation Analysis of Public Debt and Fiscal Deficit in Austria – Optimal Economic Policies for the Past and the Future," Empirica, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 69-95, March.
  12. 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.
  13. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 2002. "One Money, But Many Fiscal Policies in Europe: What are the Consequences?," Discussion Paper 2002-32, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. De Grauwe, Paul, 2000. "Monetary Policies In The Presence Of Asymmetries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
  16. repec:sae:niesru:v:174:y::i:1:p:92-104 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Tilman Brück & Rudolf Zwiener, 2004. "Fiscal Policy Rules for Stabilisation and Growth: A Simulation Analysis of Deficit and Expenditure Targets in a Monetary Union," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 427, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Dolls, Mathias & Peichl, Andreas & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Eine Herausforderung für die G20: Global vereinbarte Schuldenbremsen und transnationale fiskalpolitische Aufsichtsgremien," IZA Standpunkte 45, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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