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Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe

  • Galí, Jordi
  • Perotti, Roberto

A popular view among economists, policy-makers, and the media, is that the Maastricht Treaty and then Stability and Growth Pact have significantly impaired the ability of EU governments to conduct a stabilizing fiscal policy and to provide an adequate level of public infrastructure. In this Paper, we investigate this view by estimating fiscal rules for the discretionary budget deficit over the period 1980-2002, using data on EMU countries and control groups of non-EMU EU countries and other non-EU OECD countries. We do not find much support for this view. In fact, we find that discretionary fiscal policy in EMU countries has become more counter-cyclical over time, following what appears to be a trend that affects other industrialized countries as well. Similarly, we find that the decline in public investment experienced over the last decade by EMU countries is part of a worldwide trend that started well before the Maastricht Treaty was signed.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3933.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3933
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  1. Michael J. Artis & Marco Buti, 2000. "Close to Balance or in Surplus. A Policy Maker’s Guide to the Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 28, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  2. Roberto Perotti, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Economics Working Papers 015, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  3. Hercowitz, Z. & Strawczynski, M., 1999. "Cyclical Bias in Government Spending: Evidence from the OECD," Papers 6-99, Tel Aviv.
  4. Lane, Philip R., 2003. "The cyclical behaviour of fiscal policy: evidence from the OECD," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2661-2675, December.
  5. Roberto Perotti, 2005. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Buiter, Willem H. & Grafe, Clemens, 2002. "Patching up the Pact: some Suggestions for Enhancing Fiscal Sustainability and Macroeconomic Stability in an Enlarged European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3496, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. F. Ballabriga & C. Martinez-Mongay, 2002. "Has EMU shifted policy?," European Economy - Economic Papers 166, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:3:p:949-963 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Marco Buti & Gabriele Giudice, 2002. "Maastricht's Fiscal Rules at Ten: An Assessment," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 823-848, December.
  10. Perotti, Roberto, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0168, European Central Bank.
  11. Bouthevillain, C. & Van Den Dool, G. & Langenus, G. & Mohr, M. & Momigliano, S. & Tujula, M. & De Cos, P.H. & Cour-Thimann, Philippine, 2001. "Cyclically Adjusted Budget Balances: an Alternative Approach," Papers 77, Quebec a Montreal - Recherche en gestion.
  12. Buiter, W.H. & Corsetti, G. & Roubini, N., 1992. "Excessive Deficits: Sense and Nonsence in the Treaty of Maastricht," Papers 674, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  13. Adriana Arreaza & Bent E. Sorensen & Oved Yosha, 1998. "Consumption Smoothing through Fiscal Policy in OECD and EU Countries," NBER Working Papers 6372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2002. "Should the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve be concerned about fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 333-389.
  15. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:1:p:147-180 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1998. "The Stability Pact: more than a minor nuisance?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 65-113, 04.
  17. Melitz, Jacques, 1997. "Some Cross-Country Evidence about Debt, Deficits and the Behaviour of Monetary and Fiscal Authorities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1653, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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