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Less Government—More Wealth? On the Macroeconomics of a Smaller Public Sector in Europe


  • Gottfried Haber
  • Reinhard Neck
  • Warwick McKibbin


In this paper, we analyze the reactions of European economies to a fiscal policy strategy aiming at diminishing the public sector. Within the framework of the MSG3 model, a macroeconomic model of the world economy, we perform several simulation experiments to explore the effects of reducing government expenditures permanently in different phases of the business cycle. For this purpose, we combine the fiscal contraction with negative and positive, Euro Area-wide and global, supply and demand shocks. It turns out that adverse Keynesian effects on output and employment tend to be mostly weak and short-lived, whereas long-run effects on output and employment are favorable. Due to these long-run effects, the fiscal contraction policy raises welfare as measured by an asymmetric quadratic objective function. The size of these welfare effects depends on the initial situation in a non-trivial manner. Copyright International Economic Atlantic Society 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Gottfried Haber & Reinhard Neck & Warwick McKibbin, 2006. "Less Government—More Wealth? On the Macroeconomics of a Smaller Public Sector in Europe," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 12(1), pages 1-15, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:iaecre:v:12:y:2006:i:1:p:1-15:10.1007/s11294-006-6121-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11294-006-6121-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Wilcoxen, Peter J., 1998. "The theoretical and empirical structure of the G-Cubed model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 123-148, January.
    2. Eijffinger, Sylvester & Haan, Jakob de, 2000. "European Monetary and Fiscal Policy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198776161.
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    More about this item


    E6; H1; H3; H6;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt


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