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Cyclical asymmetry in fiscal policy, debt accumulation and the Treaty of Maastricht

  • Fabrizio Balassone

    ()

    (Banca d'Italia)

  • Maura Francese

    ()

    (Banca d'Italia)

In this paper we present a stylised framework of fiscal policy determination that considers both structural targets and cyclical factors. Applying this framework to a sample of 16 OECD countries, we find evidence of significant asymmetry in the reaction of fiscal policy to positive and negative cyclical conditions, with budgetary balances deteriorating in contractions and not improving in expansions. This asymmetry appears to have contributed significantly to debt accumulation. We find no evidence that EU fiscal rules have reduced the ability of governments to conduct stabilisation policy between 1992 and 2000.

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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 531.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_531_04
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Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it

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  1. Buti, Marco & Franco, Daniele & Ongena, Hedwig, 1998. "Fiscal Discipline and Flexibility in EMU: The Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 81-97, Autumn.
  2. Bouthevillain, C. & Van Den Dool, G. & Langenus, G. & Mohr, M. & Momigliano, S. & Tujula, M. & De Cos, P.H. & Cour-Thimann, Philippine, 2001. "Cyclically Adjusted Budget Balances: an Alternative Approach," Papers 77, Quebec a Montreal - Recherche en gestion.
  3. repec:sae:niesru:v:174:y::i:1:p:92-104 is not listed on IDEAS
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  7. Marco BUTI & Daniele FRANCO & Hedwig ONGENA, 1997. "Budgeetary Policies during Recessions : Retrospective Application of the Stability and Growth Pact” to the Post-War Period," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1997041, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  8. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-78, August.
  9. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  11. Martin Larch & Matteo Salto, 2003. "Fiscal rules, inertia and discretionary fiscal policy," European Economy - Economic Papers 194, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  12. André Sapir & Marco Buti, 1998. "Economic policy in EMU," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8078, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
  14. Francesco Zollino, 2004. "Social mobility and endogenous cycles in redistribution," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 505, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  15. Melitz, Jacques, 1997. "Some Cross-Country Evidence about Debt, Deficits and the Behaviour of Monetary and Fiscal Authorities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1653, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Lorenzo Forni & Sandro Momigliano, 2004. "Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 540, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  17. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
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