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Reviving fiscal policy in Europe: towards an implementation of the golden rule of public investment

Author

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  • Achim Truger

    (Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany)

Abstract

The implementation of a golden rule of public investment as a necessary institutional reform and an important step aimed at overcoming the constraints imposed by the new European Economic Governance are proposed. The rule is widely accepted in traditional public finance and can deliver both intergenerational fairness as well as more growth and employment. The golden rule would exempt public (net) investment suitably defined from the relevant deficit targets of both the preventative and the corrective arms of the Stability and Growth Pact as well as the Fiscal Compact. That way, fiscal policy would be upgraded and would receive more room for manoeuvre and public investment as a particularly growth-enhancing public expenditure category would be strengthened. Different definitions are discussed and a pragmatic definition based on the national accounts with some modifications will be proposed. The standard reservations against a golden rule are critically assessed and mostly discarded. Although a proper implementation would need some time, this should not be an excuse for not using pragmatic short-term solutions that are readily available at the European level.

Suggested Citation

  • Achim Truger, 2016. "Reviving fiscal policy in Europe: towards an implementation of the golden rule of public investment," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 13(1), pages 57-71, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:ejeepi:v:13:y:2016:i:1:p57-71
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    golden rule; public investment; fiscal policy; austerity; euro area;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • 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
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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