Government Investment and the European Stability and Growth Pact
AbstractWe consider the effect of excluding government investment from the deficit subject to the limits of the European Stability and Growth Pact. In the model we consider, residents of a given country discount future costs and benefits of government spending more than efficiency would dictate, because they fail to take into account the portion that will accrue to people that have not yet been born or immigrated into the country. It is thus in principle desirable to design budget rules that favor long-term investment (by allowing more borrowing) over other government spending that only carries short-term benefits. However, given the low rates of population growth, mortality, and mobility across European countries, we find that the distortions arising from treating all government spending equally are likely to be modest. We also show that these modest distortions can be alleviated only if net government investment is excluded from the deficit computation; excluding gross investment may even be counterproductive, as it promotes overspending in government capital.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13200.
Date of creation: Jun 2007
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Other versions of this item:
- Marco Bassetto & Vadym Lepetyuk, 2007. "Government investment and the European stability and growth pact," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 33-43.
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
- H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-07-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2007-07-07 (European Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2007-07-07 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2007-07-07 (Public Economics)
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