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Towards expenditure rules and fiscal sanity in the euro area

  • Hauptmeier, Sebastian
  • Sanchez-Fuentes, A. Jesus
  • Schuknecht, Ludger

The study demonstrates the key role of expenditure policies in explaining fiscal developments during EMU in the euro area, its three largest members and four "macro-imbalances" countries. It compares actual primary expenditure trends with those that would have prevailed if countries had followed neutral policies based on expenditure rules since the start of EMU. Moreover, the implications for debt trends are calculated. Results show that all sample countries except Germany applied expansionary expenditure policies already before the crisis. Consequently, expenditure and debt paths were much higher compared to a counterfactual neutral expenditure stance. Rule-based expenditure policies could have led to much safer fiscal positions much more in line with the EU's Stability and Growth Pact. An empirical analysis of the determinants of countries' expenditure stance confirms the need for stronger fiscal rules and institutions in the euro area.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Policy Modeling.

Volume (Year): 33 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 597-617

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:33:y:2011:i:4:p:597-617
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505735

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  1. Tilman Brück & Rudolf Zwiener, 2004. "Fiscal Policy Rules for Stabilisation and Growth: A Simulation Analysis of Deficit and Expenditure Targets in a Monetary Union," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 427, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Cimadomo, Jacopo, 2008. "Fiscal policy in real time," Working Paper Series 0919, European Central Bank.
  3. Xavier Debrun & Laurent Moulin & Alessandro Turrini & Joaquim Ayuso-i-Casals & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2008. "Tied to the mast? National fiscal rules in the European Union," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 297-362, 04.
  4. Alessandro Turrini, 2008. "Fiscal policy and the cycle in the Euro Area: The role of government revenue and expenditure," European Economy - Economic Papers 323, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  5. Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Rother, Philipp, 2010. "The impact of numerical expenditure rules on budgetary discipline over the cycle," Working Paper Series 1169, European Central Bank.
  6. G�nter Coenen & Christopher J. Erceg & Charles Freedman & Davide Furceri & Michael Kumhof & Ren� Lalonde & Douglas Laxton & Jesper Lind� & Annabelle Mourougane & Dirk Muir & Susanna Mursula & Carlos d, 2012. "Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 22-68, January.
  7. Menguy, Séverine, 2008. "A dynamic rule applied to the threshold imposed on the European budgetary deficits," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1093-1105.
  8. Peter Wierts, 2008. "How do Expenditure Rules affect Fiscal Behaviour?," DNB Working Papers 166, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
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