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Changes in the Fiscal Stance and the Composition of Public Spending

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  • Juraj Stancik
  • Timo Valila

Abstract

The share of public investment relative to consumption expenditure has declined in past decades. Earlier literature has attributed this stylised fact variably to the relative political ease of cutting investment; different cyclical patterns of public investment and consumption; or to EMU’s fiscal rules. We consider the impact of both cyclical and structural changes in the fiscal stance on public spending composition for a panel of EU countries, including individual components of public investment. We find that both cyclically-induced and structural changes in the fiscal stance affect the composition of public spending, with fiscal tightening of both types increasing, not decreasing, the relative share of investment and loosening favouring consumption expenditure. There is, however, some asymmetry in that the gain in investment following a tightening tends to be smaller than the gain in consumption expenditure following a loosening. Of the components of public investment, infrastructure and redistribution respond to cyclical changes in the fiscal stance, while investment in hospitals and schools responds most clearly to structural changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Juraj Stancik & Timo Valila, 2009. "Changes in the Fiscal Stance and the Composition of Public Spending," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp394, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp394
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal policy; public expenditure; fiscal stance.;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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