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The impact of expenditure rules on budgetary discipline over the cycle

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  • F. Holm-Hadulla
  • S. Hauptmeier
  • P. Rother

Abstract

We study the impact of expenditure rules on the propensity for governments to deviate from their expenditure plans in response to surprising cyclical developments. Theoretical considerations suggest that due to political fragmentation in the budgetary process expenditure policy might be prone to a procyclical bias. However, this tendency may be mitigated by strictly enforced expenditure rules. These hypotheses are tested against data from a panel of EU Member States. Our key findings are that (1) deviations between actual and planned government expenditure tend to be positively related to output gap surprises, and (2) expenditure rules reduce this procyclical bias. These results are particularly pronounced when the analysis is confined to spending items with a high degree of budgetary flexibility.

Suggested Citation

  • F. Holm-Hadulla & S. Hauptmeier & P. Rother, 2012. "The impact of expenditure rules on budgetary discipline over the cycle," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(25), pages 3287-3296, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:44:y:2012:i:25:p:3287-3296
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.572855
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    Cited by:

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    2. Nerlich, Carolin & Reuter, Wolf Heinrich, 2013. "The design of national fiscal frameworks and their budgetary impact," Working Paper Series 1588, European Central Bank.
    3. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 2017. "Does the design of a fiscal rule matter for welfare?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 226-237.
    4. Csaba G. Tóth, 2019. "Valuable legacy? The effect of inherited fiscal rules," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 178(1), pages 3-30, January.
    5. Dolls, Mathias & Peichl, Andreas & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Eine Herausforderung für die G20: Global vereinbarte Schuldenbremsen und transnationale fiskalpolitische Aufsichtsgremien," IZA Standpunkte 45, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Amelie Barbier-Gauchard & Kea Baret & Alexandru Minea, 2020. "National Fiscal Rules and Fiscal Discipline in the European Union," Working Papers hal-02992219, HAL.
    7. Larch, Martin & Orseau, Eloïse & van der Wielen, Wouter, 2021. "Do EU fiscal rules support or hinder counter-cyclical fiscal policy?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    8. Ludger Schuknecht & Holger Zemanek, 0. "Public expenditures and the risk of social dominance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-26.
    9. Christofzik, Désirée & Feld, Lars P. & Reuter, Wolf Heinrich & Yeter, Mustafa, 2018. "Uniting European fiscal rules: How to strenghten the fiscal framework," Working Papers 04/2018, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
    10. Ludger Schuknecht & Holger Zemanek, 2018. "Social Dominance," Working Papers REM 2018/30, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
    11. Petr Rozmahel & Ladislava Issever Grochová & Marek Litzman, 2014. "The Effect of Asymmetries in Fiscal Policy Conducts on Business Cycle Correlation in the EU. WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 62," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 47249, December.
    12. Burret, Heiko T. & Feld, Lars P., 2018. "(Un-)intended effects of fiscal rules," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 166-191.
    13. Tóth, Csaba G., 2017. "Own or inherited? The effect of national fiscal rules after changes of government," MPRA Paper 81178, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Ludek Kouba & Michal Madr & Danuse Nerudova & Petr Rozmahel, 2016. "Policy Autonomy, Coordination or Harmonization in the Persistently Heterogeneous European Union?," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 1, pages 53-71, March.
    15. António Afonso & Ana Sofia Guimarães, 2014. "The relevance of fiscal rules for fiscal and yield developments," Working Papers Department of Economics 2014/05, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    16. Lud?k Kouba & Michal Mádr & Danue Nerudová & Petr Rozmahel, 2015. "Policy Autonomy, Coordination or Harmonisation in the Persistently Heterogeneous European Union? WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 95," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 58136, December.
    17. Bergman, U. Michael & Hutchison, Michael M. & Jensen, Svend E. Hougaard, 2016. "Promoting sustainable public finances in the European Union: The role of fiscal rules and government efficiency," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-19.

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