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Has the Stability and Growth Pact Stabilised? Evidence from a Panel of 12 European Countries and Some Implications for the Reform of the Pact

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  • Carlos Fonseca Marinheiro

Abstract

Ever since its inception EMU has been subject to controversy. The fiscal policy rules embedded in the Treaty on European Union, and clarified in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), are probably the most contentious. The SGP is being accused of being too rigid and of forcing pro-cyclicality in fiscal policy. We test the impact of the SGP rules on the cyclical properties of fiscal policy for a panel of 12 European countries. We conclude that contrary to what might have been expected the euro fiscal rules have reinforced the counter-cyclicality of fiscal policy. However, the results also show that the SGP is not being applied symmetrically over the cycle, leading to insufficient fiscal consolidation during economic upswings. This explains the recent difficulties of Portugal, Germany and France in complying with SGP requirements. Based on these conclusions we argue for the creation of independent national technical committees that would define an appropriate deficit target on an annual basis.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Fonseca Marinheiro, 2005. "Has the Stability and Growth Pact Stabilised? Evidence from a Panel of 12 European Countries and Some Implications for the Reform of the Pact," CESifo Working Paper Series 1411, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1411
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    1. Jordi Galí & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
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    7. Buti, Marco, 2003. "Revisiting the stability and growth pact: grand design or internal adjustment?," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 34908, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
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    Cited by:

    1. Aleksander Aristovnik & Matevž Meze, 2017. "The impact of supranational fiscal rules on public finance: the case of EMU member states," Global Business and Economics Review, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 19(1), pages 38-53.
    2. repec:zbw:espost:162276 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Guido Baldi & Karsten Staehr, 2013. "The European debt crisis and fiscal reaction functions in Europe 2000–2012," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2013-5, Bank of Estonia, revised 24 Jul 2013.
    4. Mencinger, Jernej & Aristovnik, Aleksander, 2013. "Fiscal Policy Stance in the European Union: The Impact of the Euro," MPRA Paper 44708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Bertrand Candelon & Joan Muysken & Robert Vermeulen, 2010. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe: an update," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 323-349, April.
    6. Arora, Sanchit & Reicher, Claire, 2014. "Changes in the Response of Fiscal Policy to Monetary Policy in the EMU," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 465, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Baldi, Guido & Staehr, Karsten, 2016. "The European debt crisis and fiscal reactions in Europe 2000-2014," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 297-317.
    8. Bettina Fincke & Marcin Wolski, 2016. "Are European fiscal rules that bad? Discretionary fiscal policies in New Member States," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 517-546, September.
    9. Kerstin Bernoth & Andrew Hughes Hallet & John Lewis, 2008. "Did fiscal policy makers know what they were doing? Reassessing fiscal policy with real-time data," DNB Working Papers 169, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; stabilisation; EMU; Stability and Growth Pact reform;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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