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Fiscal Divergence and Business Cycle Synchronization: Irresponsibility is Idiosyncratic

  • Darvas, Zsolt
  • Rose, Andrew K
  • Szapáry, György

Using a panel of 21 OECD countries and 40 years of annual data, we find that countries with similar government budget positions tend to have business cycles that fluctuate more closely. That is, fiscal convergence (in the form of persistently similar ratios of government surplus/deficit to GDP) is systematically associated with more synchronized business cycles. We also find evidence that reduced fiscal deficits increase business cycle synchronization. The Maastricht 'convergence criteria', used to determine eligibility for EMU, encouraged fiscal convergence and deficit reduction. They may thus have indirectly moved Europe closer to an optimum currency area, by reducing countries' abilities to create idiosyncratic fiscal shocks. Our empirical results are economically and statistically significant, and robust.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5188.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5188
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  1. Zsolt Darvas & Andrew K. Rose & György Szapáry, 2005. "Fiscal Divergence and Business Cycle Synchronization: Irresponsibility is Idiosyncratic," NBER Working Papers 11580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kose, M. Ayhan & Prasad, Eswar & Terrones, Marco E., 2003. "How Does Globalization Affect the Synchronization of Business Cycles?," IZA Discussion Papers 702, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
  4. Fatas, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2006. "The macroeconomic effects of fiscal rules in the US states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 101-117, January.
  5. Todd E. Clark & Eric van Wincoop, 1999. "Borders and business cycles," Staff Reports 91, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1996. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," NBER Working Papers 5730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Darvas, Zsolt & Szapáry, György, 2005. "Business Cycle Sychronization in the Enlarged EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 5179, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
  11. Gerlach, H M Stefan, 1988. "World Business Cycles under Fixed and Flexible Exchange Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(4), pages 621-32, November.
  12. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alberto Alesina & Robert J. Barro, 2000. "Currency Unions," NBER Working Papers 7927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "The modern history of exchange rate arrangements: A reinterpretation," MPRA Paper 14070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela & Vegh, Carlos, 2004. "When it rains, it pours: Procyclical capital flows and macroeconomic policies," MPRA Paper 13883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. repec:rus:hseeco:123092 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Marianne Baxter & Michael A. Kouparitsas, 2004. "Determinants of Business Cycle Comovement: A Robust Analysis," NBER Working Papers 10725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Fabio Canova & Matteo Ciccarelli & Eva Ortega, 2004. "Similarities and convergence in G-7 cycles," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0404, Banco de Espa�a.
  19. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov, 2003. "The Case For Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1419-1447, November.
  20. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Gita Gopinath, 2005. "Efficient Fiscal Policy and Amplification," NBER Working Papers 11490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. repec:rus:hseeco:181565 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Alberto Alesina & Robert Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2002. "Optimal Currency Areas," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1958, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    • Alberto Alesina & Robert J. Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2003. "Optimal Currency Areas," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 301-356 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Robin L. Lumsdaine & Eswar S. Prasad, 1997. "Identifying the Common Component in International Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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