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Has the Stability and Growth Pact stabilised? Evidence from a panel of 12 European countries and some implications for the reform of the Pact

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  • Carlos Marinheiro

    ()
    (GEMF and Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra)

Abstract

VEver since its inception EMU has been subject to controversy. The fiscal policy rules embedded in the Treaty on European Union, and clarified in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), are probably the most contentious. The SGP is being accused of being too rigid and of forcing pro-cyclicality in fiscal policy. We test the impact of the SGP rules on the cyclical properties of fiscal policy for a panel of 12 European countries. We conclude that contrary to what might have been expected the euro fiscal rules have reinforced the counter-cyclicality of fiscal policy. However, the results also show that the SGP is not being applied symmetrically over the cycle, leading to insufficient fiscal consolidation during economic upswings. This explains the recent difficulties of Portugal, Germany and France in complying with SGP requirements. Based on these conclusions we argue for the creation of independent national technical committees that would define an appropriate deficit target on an annual basis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra in its series GEMF Working Papers with number 2005-02.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2005-02

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Keywords: Fiscal policy; stabilisation; EMU; Stability; Growth Pact reform;

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  1. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R., 1995. "Fiscal flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for monetary union in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 253-274, February.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach, 2002. "Is there a role for discretionary fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 109-150.
  3. Marco Buti & Sylvester Eijffinger & Daniele Franco, 2003. "Revisiting the Stability and Growth Pact: grand design or internal adjustment?," European Economy - Economic Papers 180, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  4. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  5. Lane, Philip R., 2003. "The cyclical behaviour of fiscal policy: evidence from the OECD," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2661-2675, December.
  6. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann & Jürgen Von Hagen, 1999. "Reforming Budgetary Institutions in Latin America: The Case for a National Fiscal Council," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 415-442, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Guido Baldi & Karsten Staehr, 2013. "The European debt crisis and fiscal reaction functions in Europe 2000–2012," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2013-5, Bank of Estonia, revised 24 Jul 2013.
  2. Mencinger, Jernej & Aristovnik, Aleksander, 2013. "Fiscal Policy Stance in the European Union: The Impact of the Euro," MPRA Paper 44708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Bernoth, Kerstin & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Lewis, John, 2008. "Did Fiscal Policy Makers Know What They Were Doing? Reassessing Fiscal Policy with Real Time Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6758, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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