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Fiscal Discipline: Rules Rather Than Institutions

Author

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  • Charles Wyplosz

    (The Graduate Institute, Geneva, and CEPR, charles.wyplosz@graduateinstitute.ch)

Abstract

The lack of fiscal discipline is a natural and pervasive implication of the perceived separation between the benefits from public spending and the taxes that individuals and interest groups receive and pay, respectively. The implication is that budget preparation, decision and execution must be constrained. The challenge is that the policymakers who need to be constrained are those who must decide the constraints. Two broad classes of solutions are possible: institutions that shape the budgetary process and quantitative rules that set limits. The mounting experience with both institutions and rules is disappointing, for reasons that are often complementary. Examining the reasons for this state of affairs, this article argues that institutions and rules ought to be combined and associated with advisory fiscal councils.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Wyplosz, 2011. "Fiscal Discipline: Rules Rather Than Institutions," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 217(1), pages 19-30, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:niesru:v:217:y:2011:i:1:p:r19-r30
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eo6779thqgm5r489m6u1i2a0o is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Henri Sterdyniak, 2012. "Ramener à zéro le déficit public doit-il être l’objectif central de la politique économique ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c6t1fl36hv9, Sciences Po.
    3. Sacchi, Agnese & Salotti, Simone, 2015. "The impact of national fiscal rules on the stabilisation function of fiscal policy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 1-20.
    4. repec:dgr:rugsom:14009-eef is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2012. "Faut-il des règles de politique budgétaire ?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(7), pages 299-346.
    6. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2013. "Do we need fiscal rules?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 189-233.
    7. Kamal, Mona, 2015. "Egypt Relative to the COMESA’s Member States: Do Fiscal Policy Rules Matter?," MPRA Paper 67101, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2013. "Can the new French economic policy be successful?," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 175-192.
    9. David Bartolini & Agnese Sacchi & Simone Salotti & Raffaella Santolini, 2015. "Fiscal decentralisation in times of financial crises," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1506, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    10. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09j0h168m2j is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jochen O. Mierau & Eduard Suari Andreu, 2014. "Fiscal Rules and Government Size in the European Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 4693, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eo6779thqgm5r489maqa474kg is not listed on IDEAS
    13. André Grjebine, 2013. "L’Eurosystème: un mécanisme de transferts en faveur des pays déficitaires ? Le débat," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eo6779thqgm, Sciences Po.
    14. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c6t1fl36hv9s7q89j8pa18291 is not listed on IDEAS

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