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Fiscal Rules and Government Size in the European Union

  • Jochen O. Mierau
  • Eduard Suari Andreu

This paper studies the impact of national fiscal rules on government size as measured by the ratio of government expenditures to gross domestic product. We develop a model of the budgetary process and show that a common pool problem may arise which can be mitigated through fiscal rules. We test the model’s predictions using a novel time-series cross-section dataset of 27 European Union members for the period between 1990 and 2011. Corroborating the model, we find that fiscal rules have a negative impact on government size. Contrasting the model, their impact becomes smaller as the number of ministers increases.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2014/wp-cesifo-2014-03/cesifo1_wp4693.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4693.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4693
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  1. Charles Wyplosz, 2011. "Fiscal Discipline: Rules Rather than Institutions," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 217(1), pages R19-R30, July.
  2. Marcela Eslava, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Deficits: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 645-673, 09.
  3. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes, 2013. "Lack Of Commitment And The Level Of Debt," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1053-1078, October.
  4. Jakob Haan & Richard Jong-A-Pin & Jochen Mierau, 2013. "Do budgetary institutions mitigate the common pool problem? New empirical evidence for the EU," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 423-441, September.
  5. Imbens, Guido W. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2008. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 3640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Xavier Debrun & Laurent Moulin & Alessandro Turrini & Joaquim Ayuso-i-Casals & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2008. "Tied to the mast? National fiscal rules in the European Union," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 297-362, 04.
  7. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Feld, Lars P., 2009. "Do large cabinets favor large governments? Evidence on the fiscal commons problem for Swiss Cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 35-47, February.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
  9. Jakob de Haan & Helge Berger & David-Jan Jansen, 2004. "Why has the Stability and Growth Pact Failed?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 235-260, 07.
  10. Patricia Funk & Christina Gathmann, 2013. "How Do Electoral Systems Affect Fiscal Policy? Evidence From Cantonal Parliaments, 1890–2000," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1178-1203, October.
  11. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Working Papers 834, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. International Monetary Fund, 1996. "Budget Processes and Commitment to Fiscal Discipline," IMF Working Papers 96/78, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2004. "Does the Size of the Legislature Affect the Size of Government? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," Discussion Papers 350, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  14. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  15. George Kopits & Steven A. Symansky, 1998. "Fiscal Policy Rules," IMF Occasional Papers 162, International Monetary Fund.
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