Reconciling Stability and Growth: Smart Pacts and Structural Reforms
This Paper analyses the decision of a government facing electoral uncertainty to implement structural reforms in the presence of fiscal restraints similar to the Stability and Growth Pact. We provide suggestive evidence that structural reforms - in particular labour market reforms - may lead to substantial outlays by the government, for example to buy political support. To the extent that the reform package entails up-front costs, the model shows that a pact may harm structural reforms, sacrificing future growth for present stability. Since electoral uncertainty creates an expansive fiscal bias, the welfare gains brought about by a pact depend on a trade-off between the reduction in the deficit bias and the induced reduction in the amount of structural reform. Imposing a pact becomes more attractive if it takes into account the up-front costs from structural reforms when evaluating the member states' fiscal stance. Therefore, the analysis lends support to a recent proposal by the European Commission for a more flexible implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact in this respect.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1999.
"The Political Economy of Employment Protection,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2109, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Gert Schnabel, 2002. "Output trends and Okun's law," BIS Working Papers 111, Bank for International Settlements.
- Kenneth Rogoff, 1987.
"Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles,"
NBER Working Papers
2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002.
"Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Timing of Labor Market Reform,"
IDEI Working Papers
146, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Timing of Labour Market Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Timing of Labor Market Reform," IDEI Working Papers 314, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Some Thoughts on Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Timing of Labor Market Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 611, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Sibert, Anne & Sutherland, Alan, 2000. "Monetary union and labor market reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 421-435, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3930. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.