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A (Un)Pleasant Arithmetic of Fiscal Policy: the Case of Italian Public Debt

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  • L. Marattin
  • M. Marzo

Abstract

Using the simple arithmetic of government budget constraint, we perform an analysis on the Italian case, investigating the consequences on the main public finance aggregates of the adoption of a fiscal policy rule responding to past real debt/GDP ratio. Such a rule, firmly grounded in the economic analysis, would allow the reduction of Italy's outstanding stock of debt without requiring the strict adherence to the 3% criterion for deficit/GDP ratio, as prescribed by SGP. We perform a forecasting exercise under five alternative scenarios, analyze the details of a structural debt reduction strategy with alternative yearly step, and finally carry out a counterfactual exercise by applying our proposed rule to the period 1994-2006.

Suggested Citation

  • L. Marattin & M. Marzo, 2008. "A (Un)Pleasant Arithmetic of Fiscal Policy: the Case of Italian Public Debt," Working Papers 625, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:625
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cochrane, John H, 2001. "Long-Term Debt and Optimal Policy in the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 69-116, January.
    2. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
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    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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