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Deficit Targeting Strategies: Fiscal Consolidation and the Probability Distribution of Deficits under the Stability Pact

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  • A.J. Hughes Hallett
  • Peter McAdam

Abstract

Using stochastic simulations, this article analyses the probability distribution of a country's deficit ratio under fixed exchange rates and a variety of monetary and fiscal policy rules. The purpose is to show how the probability of an 'excessive deficit', defined by Europe's Stability Pact as a deficit to GDP ratio above 3 per cent, varies with different deficit targets and policy rules. Using a macro model, we find that when subject to historically consistent shocks, these fiscal ratios typically have a wide distribution, with fat tails and significantly longer tails on the upper side. That means fiscal targets may have to be country-specific and conservative, and that fiscal policy has to be forward-looking to keep the probability of excessive deficits below acceptable limits. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • A.J. Hughes Hallett & Peter McAdam, 2003. "Deficit Targeting Strategies: Fiscal Consolidation and the Probability Distribution of Deficits under the Stability Pact," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 421-444, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:41:y:2003:i:3:p:421-444
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barrell, Ray & Pina, Alvaro M., 2004. "How important are automatic stabilisers in Europe? A stochastic simulation assessment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-35, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. J. de Haan & H. Berger & D. Jansen, 2003. "The end of the stability and growth pact?," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 748, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. de Haan, Jakob & Berger, Helge & Jansen, David-Jan, 2003. "The end of stability and growth pact?," Discussion Papers 2003/16, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    3. S. Tolga Tiryaki, 2008. "Has the Stability and Growth Pact Changed the Likelihood of Excessive Deficits in the European Union?," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 8(1), pages 65-83.
    4. Benedict J. Clements & Sanjeev Gupta & Erwin H Tiongson & Emanuele Baldacci, 2003. "What Sustains Fiscal Consolidations in Emerging Market Countries?," IMF Working Papers 03/224, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Sanjeev Gupta & Emanuele Baldacci & Benedict Clements & Erwin R. Tiongson, 2005. "What sustains fiscal consolidations in emerging market countries?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 307-321.

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