Fiscal Policy Stance in the European Union: The Impact of the Euro
AbstractIn the recent years there has been an intense discussion whether the actual behaviour of fiscal authorities is consistent with cyclical stabilization objectives. The question of the appropriate fiscal policy is gaining recognition especially for the countries of the euro area after entering the European Monetary Union (EMU). Therefore, the aim of this paper is to evaluate the activity of the fiscal policy before and after the entrance to the euro zone for each individual EMU country in 1995–2010 period. For this purpose we will use the cyclical adjusted balance, which is the common tool used to estimate fiscal policy stance. The analysis of the cyclically adjusted balance gives an additional insight into the former activity arrangements of the fiscal policy, which contributes to gauge the ex-post estimation of the fiscal policy. On this base we can determine the causes of general government budgets imbalance in the past. Despite this fact, we should be aware of some caveats in the assessment of cyclical adjusted balance, which appear due the inconsistency in measurement of output gap and potential GDP growth. To evaluate pro-cyclical or countercyclical fiscal policy stance we compare the dynamic evaluation of the cyclically adjusted balance and output gap. Namely, changes of the cyclically adjusted balance in consecutive years indicate the orientation of fiscal policy, i.e. the fiscal impulse. By comparing the change in the cyclically adjusted balance and output gap between individual years, which indicates fluctuations in the economic cycle, it is possible to assess the orientation of fiscal policy, i.e. the fiscal position. The fiscal policy can be considered as countercyclical if it is expansive in the situation of negative output gap and restrictive in the situation, when the actual growth of GDP is above its potential rate. On the other hand, fiscal policy is characterized to be pro-cyclical if in the situation of negative output gap the government uses restrictive fiscal instruments and when the fiscal policy reacts expansionary in the situation of positive output gap, where the actual output exceeds the estimated potential GDP. In the empirical analysis we evaluate the fiscal policy stance for each country of the euro area. In the assessment of government behaviour we cover 14 countries in the 1995–2010 period. The results of the analysis generally confirm that the fiscal policy in most euro-area member states became more expansionary in the period after entering the EMU. Moreover, these preliminary findings were partly confirmed by a statistical analysis which shows statistically significant differences in expansionary fiscal policy between the aforementioned sub-periods. In addition, we might also conclude the average fiscal stance is expansionary when actual output is above its potential level, which implies a pro-cyclical bias in times of prosperity, and that the fiscal stance tends to be predominantly counter-cyclical when actual output is below its potential level. These conclusions can be associated with asymmetric fiscal behaviour after entering the euro area because the response of fiscal authorities to cyclical conditions in the economy depends on whether good or bad times are prevailing. These assertions reflect some conclusions made in other similar studies.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44708.
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Engineering Economics 1.24(2013): pp. 52-62
fiscal policy; fiscal policy stance; cyclically adjusted balance; output gap; SGP; EMU;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
- F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
- H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-03-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2013-03-16 (European Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2013-03-16 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alberto Alesina & Filipe R. Campante & Guido Tabellini, 2008.
"Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?,"
Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press,
MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1006-1036, 09.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why Is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Working Papers 297, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is fiscal policy often procyclical?," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000465, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," NBER Working Papers 11600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is Fiscal Policy often Procyclical?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1556, CESifo Group Munich.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is fiscal policy often procyclical?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 2090, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Marco Buti & Paul Noord, 2004. "Fiscal Discretion and Elections in the Early Years of EMU," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 737-756, November.
- Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Sanchez Fuentes, Jesus & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2010.
"Towards expenditure rules and fiscal sanity in the euro area,"
Working Paper Series, European Central Bank
1266, European Central Bank.
- Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Sanchez-Fuentes, A. Jesus & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2011. "Towards expenditure rules and fiscal sanity in the euro area," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 597-617, July.
- Schuknecht, Ludger & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Sanchez Fuéntes, Jésus, 2011. "Towards Expenditure Rules and Fiscal Sanity in the Euro Area," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48693, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
- Golinelli, Roberto & Momigliano, Sandro, 2006. "Real-time determinants of fiscal policies in the euro area," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 943-964, December.
- Jacopo Cimadomo, 2005. "Has the Stability and Growth Pact Made Fiscal Policy More Pro-Cyclical?," La Lettre du CEPII, CEPII research center, CEPII research center, issue 247.
- Carlos José Fonseca Marinheiro, 2005.
"Has the Stability and Growth Pact stabilised? Evidence from a panel of 12 European countries and some implications for the reform of the Pact,"
Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers), Departamento de Economia, GestÃ£o e Engenharia Industrial, Universidade de Aveiro
31, Departamento de Economia, Gestão e Engenharia Industrial, Universidade de Aveiro.
- Carlos Marinheiro, 2005. "Has the Stability and Growth Pact stabilised? Evidence from a panel of 12 European countries and some implications for the reform of the Pact," GEMF Working Papers 2005-02, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
- Charles Wyplosz, 2006. "European Monetary Union: the dark sides of a major success," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(46), pages 207-261, 04.
- Roberto Golinelli & Sandro Momigliano, 2008. "The cyclical response of fiscal policies in the euro area. Why do results of empirical research differ so strongly?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers), Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area 654, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Rother, Philipp, 2010. "The impact of numerical expenditure rules on budgetary discipline over the cycle," Working Paper Series, European Central Bank 1169, European Central Bank.
- Alessandro Turrini, 2008. "Fiscal policy and the cycle in the Euro Area: The role of government revenue and expenditure," European Economy - Economic Papers, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission 323, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.