Bringing French Public Debt Down: The Options for Fiscal Consolidation
France has a track record of persistent general government deficits, partly reflecting pro-cyclical fiscal policies in upswings. This has resulted in a quadrupling of its public debt-to-GDP ratio since the 1970s to above 80% of GDP. Reducing public debt is crucial because a high level of public debt may hamper long-term growth and may have a direct impact on fiscal sustainability if long-term interest rates rise. Bringing back public debt to 60% of GDP even by 2030 would require a fiscal effort of 4 to 5 percentage points of GDP (under the assumption of unchanged long-term rates), implying permanent primary general government surpluses, which is very ambitious in view of French fiscal history since 1970. The governmentâ€™s consolidation programme, which is aimed at reducing the general government deficit to 3% of GDP by 2013, represents around two-thirds of this effort. This study analyses how fiscal governance could be improved by the creation of a structural deficit rule and looks at ways the public deficit could be lowered. With France already having a very large public sector, most of the effort should be borne by holding down spending. Better control of the public wage bill, increasing public-sector efficiency and tackling age-related costs are the obvious candidates to contain expenditure. On the revenue side, there is significant potential for cutting tax expenditures. Furthermore, eliminating distortions in the tax base would encourage economic growth.
|Date of creation:||2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich|
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo-group.de
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.:
- Xavier Debrun & David Hauner & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2009. "Independent Fiscal Agencies," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 44-81, 02.
- Isabell Koske, 2010. "After the Crisis - Bringing German Public Finances Back to a Sustainable Path," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 766, OECD Publishing.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010.
"Growth in a Time of Debt,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," NBER Working Papers 15639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," Scholarly Articles 11129154, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 7661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Isabelle Joumard & Christophe André & Chantal Nicq, 2010. "Health Care Systems: Efficiency and Institutions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 769, OECD Publishing.
- Balázs Égert, 2014. "Fiscal policy reaction to the cycle in the OECD: pro- or counter-cyclical?," Mondes en développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(3), pages 35-52.
- Balázs Égert, 2010. "Fiscal Policy Reaction to the Cycle in the OECD: Pro- or Counter-cyclical?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 763, OECD Publishing.
- Balazs Egert, 2012. "Fiscal Policy Reaction to the Cycle in the OECD: Pro- or Counter-Cyclical?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3777, CESifo Group Munich.
- Balázs Égert, 2012. "Fiscal Policy Reaction to the Cycle in the OECD: Pro- or Counter-cyclical?," EconomiX Working Papers 2012-12, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
- Balázs Égert, 2014. "Fiscal policy reaction to the cycle in the OECD: pro- or counter-cyclical?," Post-Print hal-01386041, HAL.
- Isabelle Joumard & Christophe André, 2008. "Revenue Buoyancy and its Fiscal Policy Implications," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 598, OECD Publishing.
- Lars Jonung & Martin Larch, 2006. "Improving fiscal policy in the EU: the case for independent forecasts," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 491-534, 07.
- Lars Jonung & Martin Larch, 2004. "Improving fiscal policy in the EU: the case for independent forecasts," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 210, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3928. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.