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Lessons Learned from Tax vs. Expenditure Based Fiscal Consolidation in the European Transition Economies

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  • Rajmund Mirdala

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Abstract

European Union member countries are currently exposed to negative implications of the economic and debt crisis. Questions associated with disputable implications of fiscal incentives seem to be contrary to the crucial need of the effective fiscal consolidation that is necessary to reduce excessive fiscal deficits and high sovereign debts. While challenges addressed to the fiscal policy and its anti-cyclical potential rose steadily but not desperately since the beginning of the economic crisis, the call for fiscal consolidation became urgent almost immediately and this need significantly strengthen after the debt crisis contagion flooded Europe. In the paper we provide an overview of main trends in public budgets and sovereign debts in ten European transition economies during last two decades. We identify episodes of successful and unsuccessful (cold showers versus gradual) fiscal (expenditure versus revenue based) consolidations by analyzing effects of improvements in cyclically adjusted primary balance on the sovereign debt ratio reduction. We also estimate VAR model to analyze effects of fiscal shocks (based on one standard deviation in total expenditure, direct and indirect taxes) to real output. It is expected that responses of real output to different types of (consolidating) fiscal shocks may vary and thus provide more precise ideas about a feasibility (i.e. side effects on the macroeconomic performance) of expenditure versus revenue based fiscal consolidation episodes. Economic effects of fiscal consolidating adjustments are evaluated for two periods (pre-crisis and extended) to reveal crisis effects on fiscal consolidation efforts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number wp1058.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 15 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2013-1058

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Keywords: fiscal policy adjustments; fiscal consolidation; cyclically adjusted primary balance; government expenditures; tax revenues; unrestricted VAR; Cholesky decomposition; SVAR; structural shocks; impulse-response function;

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  1. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-80, November.
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mihai ANTONESCU & Simona MANEA & Ligia ANTONESCU, 2008. "Fiscal Aspects Regarding Taxing The Incomes Of Non�Residents In Romania," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 3(4(6)_Wint).
  4. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Salvador Barrios & Sven Langedijk & Lucio Pench, 2010. "EU fiscal consolidation after the financial crisis. Lessons from past experiences," European Economy - Economic Papers, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission 418, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  6. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas Fisher, 2003. "Fiscal Shocks and Their Consequences," NBER Working Papers 9772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Altar, Moisa & Necula, Ciprian & Bobeica, Gabriel, 2010. "Estimating The Cyclically Adjusted Budget Balance For The Romanian Economy. A Robust Approach," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(2), pages 79-99, July.
  8. von Hagen, Jurgen & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Strauch, Rolf, 2002. "Budgetary Consolidation in Europe: Quality, Economic Conditions, and Persistence," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 512-535, December.
  9. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
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