The cyclical response of fiscal policies in the euro area. Why do results of empirical research differ so strongly?
Whether discretionary fiscal policies in industrialized countries act counter- or pro-cyclically and whether their reaction is symmetric or asymmetric over the cycle are still largely unsettled questions. This uncertainty remains even when attention is restricted to euro-area countries, where these questions have important implications for the debate on European fiscal rules. We review the recent empirical literature to explain why the results of the various studies differ so greatly. We find that differences are driven partly by the choices made in modelling fiscal behaviour and in the related notions of fiscal policy cyclicality. Results are also affected by data source and vintage (ex post or real-time). The time period chosen is relatively less important. We conclude that the notion of pro-cyclical fiscal policies often upheld in the debate is not justified by the data. Ex post data suggest either a-cyclicality or weak counter-cyclicality. Real-time information gives clearer indications of counter-cyclical behaviour, especially when we progress from a very simple ï¿½coreï¿½ model to a more complex one, including at least the impact of fiscal rules. As for symmetry or asymmetry, the answer varies with sources of data and time periods. With the more complex model the indications of asymmetric behaviour are more robust. Whenever asymmetry is present, it entails shifts in all the parameters of the fiscal rule and not necessarily in the output gap parameter.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Via Nazionale, 91 - 00184 Roma|
Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bun, Maurice J.G. & Kiviet, Jan F., 2006.
"The effects of dynamic feedbacks on LS and MM estimator accuracy in panel data models,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 132(2), pages 409-444, June.
- Maurice J.G. Bun & Jan F. Kiviet, 2002. "The Effects of Dynamic Feedbacks on LS and MM Estimator Accuracy in Panel Data Models," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-101/4, Tinbergen Institute, revised 19 Feb 2004.
- Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 2003. "Forecasting exogenous fiscal variables in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-59, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
- Hayakawa, Kazuhiko, 2007. "Small sample bias properties of the system GMM estimator in dynamic panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 32-38, April.
- Kazuhiko Hayakawa, 2005. "Small Sample Bias Propreties of the System GMM Estimator in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-82, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
- Mark Mink & Jakob de Haan, 2006. "Are there Political Budget Cycles in the Euro Area?," European Union Politics, , vol. 7(2), pages 191-211, June.
- Mark Hallerberg & Rolf Strauch, 2002. "On the Cyclicality of Public Finances in Europe," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 183-207, September.
- Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior of U. S. Public Debt and Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963.
- 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.
- Forni, Lorenzo & Momigliano, Sandro, 2004. "Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data," MPRA Paper 4315, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Lane, Philip R., 2003. "The cyclical behaviour of fiscal policy: evidence from the OECD," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2661-2675, December.
- Philip R. Lane, 2002. "The Cyclical Behaviour of Fiscal Policy: Evidence from the OECD," Trinity Economics Papers 20022, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
- Anthony M Annett, 2006. "Enforcement and the Stability and Growth Pact; How Fiscal Policy Did and Did Not Change Under Europe’s Fiscal Framework," IMF Working Papers 06/116, International Monetary Fund.
- Oya Celasun & Joong S Kang, 2006. "On the Properties of Various Estimators for Fiscal Reaction Functions," IMF Working Papers 06/182, International Monetary Fund.
- Charles Wyplosz, 2006. "European Monetary Union: the dark sides of a major success," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(46), pages 207-261, April.
- Golinelli, Roberto & Momigliano, Sandro, 2006. "Real-time determinants of fiscal policies in the euro area," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 943-964, December.
- Fabrizio BALASSONE & Maura FRANCESE, "undated". "Cyclical Asymmetry in Fiscal Policy, Debt Accumulation and the Treaty of Maastricht," EcoMod2004 330600014, EcoMod.
- Fabrizio Balassone & Maura Francese, 2004. "Cyclical asymmetry in fiscal policy, debt accumulation and the Treaty of Maastricht," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 531, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
- Tom Doan, "undated". "RATS program to replicate Arellano-Bond 1991 dynamic panel," Statistical Software Components RTZ00169, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
- Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
- R Blundell & Steven Bond, "undated". "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Riccardo Faini, 2006. "Fiscal policy and interest rates in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 443-489, July.
- Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
- 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.
- Bouthevillain, Carine & Cour-Thimann, Philippine & van de Dool, Gerrit & Hernández de Cos, Pablo & Langenus, Geert & Mohr, Matthias & Momigliano, Sandro & Tujula, Mika, 2001. "Cyclically adjusted budget balances: an alternative approach," Working Paper Series 0077, European Central Bank.
- Stephen Bond, 2002. "Dynamic panel data models: a guide to microdata methods and practice," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Orazio P. Attanasio & Lucio Picci & Antonello E. Scorcu, 2000. "Saving, Growth, and Investment: A Macroeconomic Analysis Using a Panel of Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 182-211, May.
- Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_654_08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.