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The Euro and Fiscal Policy

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  • Antonio Fatas
  • Ilian Mihov

Abstract

The paper provides and empirical characterization of fiscal policy in the euro area and in a group of twenty-two OECD economies over the period from 1970 until 2007. Using the cyclically-adjusted fiscal balance we document that policy in the euro area has been mildly pro-cyclical. The adoption of the common currency and the constraints imposed by the Stability and Growth Pact have not had a large impact on the cyclical behavior of the structural balance. In contrast, over the past ten years US fiscal policy has become highly countercyclical, which was due predominantly to discretionary changes in tax policies. However, the component of the budget due to automatic stabilizers reacts stronger in the euro-area countries than in the US. We also document the primary balance in the OECD economies is more sensitive to output growth rather than to the output gap, which calls into question the common practice of adjusting structural balances by using elasticities with respect to the output gap.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14722.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Publication status: published as The Euro and Fiscal Policy , Antonio Fatás, Ilian Mihov. in Europe and the Euro , Alesina and Giavazzi. 2010
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14722

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  1. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimal fiscal policy in a business cycle model," Staff Report 160, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2001. "Political Institutions and Policy Outcomes: What are the Stylized Facts?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2872, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov, 2003. "The Case For Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1419-1447, November.
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  10. Buiter, Willem H & Grafe, Clemens, 2002. "Patching up the Pact: some Suggestions for Enhancing Fiscal Sustainability and Macroeconomic Stability in an Enlarged European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3496, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jacques Melitz, 2005. "Non-Discretionary and Automatic Fiscal Policy in the EU and the OECD," Working Papers 2005-10, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rilind Kabashi, 2014. "The Cyclical Character of Fiscal Policy in Transition Countries," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 57-73.
  2. Gabriella Deborah Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2013. "Modelling the Fiscal Reaction Functions of the GIPS Based on State-Varying Thresholds," CESifo Working Paper Series 4385, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Agustín S. Bénétrix & Philip R. Lane, 2012. "Fiscal Cyclicality and EMU," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp403, IIIS.
  4. Eric Mayer & Sebastian Rueth & Johann Scharler, 2012. "Government debt, inflation dynamics and the transmission of fiscal policy shocks," Working Papers 2012-05, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  5. Landais, Bernard, 2011. "Conduite et efficacité de la politique économique : les leçons de la crise
    [Management and Efficiency of the Economic Policies : The Crisis' Lessons"]
    ," MPRA Paper 31223, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Agustín S. Bénétrix & Philip R. Lane, 2010. "International Differences in Fiscal Policy During the Global Crisis," NBER Working Papers 16346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Magdalena RĂDULESCU, 2011. "The Efficiency of the Fiscal Policy in the EU and Its Role in the Economic Recovery by Attracting FDIs," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 1(7), pages 23, December.
  8. Xavier Debrun & Radhicka Kapoor, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Stability: New Evidence and Policy Implications," Revista de Economía y Estadística, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Instituto de Economía y Finanzas, vol. 0(2), pages 69–101, July.
  9. Canale, Rosaria Rita & Napolitano, Oreste, 2010. "The recessive attitude of EMU policies: reflections on the italian experience, 1998–2008," MPRA Paper 24705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Cerón, Juan A., 2012. "La respuesta de la política fiscal a la actividad económica en los países desarrollados/Fiscal policy reaction to economic activity in developed countries," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 30, pages 369 (32 pag, Abril.
  11. Håvard Halland & Michael Bleaney, . "Explaining The Procyclicality of Fiscal Policy in Developing Countries," Discussion Papers 11/09, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  12. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro, 2009. "New Evidence on the Effectiveness of Europe's Fiscal Restrictions," Working Papers 2009-13, CEPII research center.
  13. Luca Agnello & Jacopo Cimadomo, 2012. "Discretionary Fiscal Policies over the Cycle: New Evidence Based on the ESCB Disaggregated Approach," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(2), pages 43-85, June.
  14. Pedro Leão, 2012. "How to make discretionary fiscal policy countercyclical," Working Papers Department of Economics 2012/02, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.

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