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French Public Finances at Risk?


  • Jérôme Creel

    () (Observatoire français des conjonctures economiques - Sciences Po, ESCP Europe, France)

  • Paul Hubert

    () (Observatoire français des conjonctures economiques - Sciences Po, France)

  • Francesco Saraceno

    () (Observatoire français des conjonctures economiques - Sciences Po, Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali “Guido Carli†School of European Political Economy, Italy)


Using descriptive evidence, this paper contributes to the debate on French public finances’ consolidation by examining the long-term sustainability of France’s fiscal position. We trace the historical trends of government’s tax receipts and expenditures. We illustrate that while the level of public expenditure in France is larger than in the Euro Area, its trend is comparable to its neighbours. French net debt is comparable to Eurozone’s while French net wealth remains positive. However, the French tax system is not progressive with only 6% of compulsory levies raised that way, and too complex. The paper then acknowledges the efficient debt management of French authorities. As a conclusion, we see no risk of future unsustainability linked to the nature or the level of current French public finances.

Suggested Citation

  • Jérôme Creel & Paul Hubert & Francesco Saraceno, 2014. "French Public Finances at Risk?," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(1), pages 1-19, Februar.
  • Handle: RePEc:voj:journl:v:61:y:2014:i:1:p:1-19

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Creel, Jérôme & Hubert, Paul & Saraceno, Francesco, 2013. "An assessment of the Stability and Growth Pact reform in a small-scale macro-framework," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1567-1580.
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    4. Francesco Saraceno & Paola Veroni, 2005. "Reform of the Stability and Growth Pact: Reducing or Increasing the Nuisance," Sciences Po publications 2005-1, Sciences Po.
    5. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Francesco Saraceno, 2008. "Fiscal Discipline as a Social Norm: The European Stability Pact," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(6), pages 1143-1168, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Taner Turan & Mesut Karakas & Halit Yanikkaya, 2014. "Tax Smoothing Hypothesis: A Turkish Case," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(4), pages 487-501, September.

    More about this item


    Deficits; Debts; Debt management; Taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt


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