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The Short-Term Budgetary Implications of Structural Reforms. Evidence from a Panel of EU Countries


  • Deroose, Servaas
  • Turrini, Alessandro Antonio


The EU fiscal framework has often been criticized for neglecting a possible trade-off between short-term budgetary objectives and the implementation of reforms that could improve public finances in the long term This concern was reflected in the recent reform of the Stability and Growth Pact, which acknowledges that under certain conditions structural reforms can be taken into account both in the preventive and in the corrective arm of the Pact. The aim of the paper is that of making a step forward on the understanding of the empirical relevance of the trade-off between structural reforms in EU countries. The analysis will focus on product and labour market reforms and pension reforms. The main issue investigated will be as follow: which impact do reforms have on budgets in the short term? Results show that, in the aftermath of reforms, budgets do not worsen significantly compared with cases where no reforms occur. However, when the short-term budgetary impact of reforms is evaluated controlling for the response of fiscal authorities to the cycle and debt developments via the estimation of “fiscal reaction functions”, there is evidence that product and market reforms and pension reforms are associated with a deterioration in budgets. The impact appears rather weak (a primary CAB reduced by few decimal GDP points depending on the specific reform considered) and not always statistically significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Deroose, Servaas & Turrini, Alessandro Antonio, 2005. "The Short-Term Budgetary Implications of Structural Reforms. Evidence from a Panel of EU Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 5217, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5217

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jordi Galí & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
    2. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1998. "The Stability Pact: more than a minor nuisance?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 65-113, April.
    3. Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-1155, December.
    5. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul van den Noord & Björn Döhring & Sven Langedijk & João Nogueira Martins & Lucio Pench & Heliodoro Temprano-Arroyo & Michael Thiel, 2008. "The Evolution of Economic Governance in EMU," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 328, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    2. Christian Dreger & Manuel Artís & Rosina Moreno & Raúl Ramos & Jordi Suriñach, 2007. "Study on the feasibility of a tool to measure the macroeconomic impact of structural reforms," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 272, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    3. F. Heylen & A. Hoebeeck & T. Buyse, 2011. "Fiscal consolidation, institutions and institutional reform: a multivariate analysis of public debt dynamics," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/763, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    4. Marco Buti & Werner Rüger & Alessandro Turrini, 2009. "Is Lisbon Far from Maastricht? Trade-offs and Complementarities between Fiscal Discipline and Structural Reforms," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 55(1), pages 165-196, March.
    5. Beetsma, Roel M.W.J. & Debrun, Xavier, 2007. "The new stability and growth pact: A first assessment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 453-477, February.
    6. Martin Larch & Alessandro Turrini, 2011. "Received Wisdom And Beyond: Lessons From Fiscal Consolidation In The Eu," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 217(1), pages 1-18, July.
    7. Alessandro Girardi & Paolo Paesani, 2008. "Structural Reforms and Fiscal Discipline in Europe," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 15(2), pages 389-402, September.
    8. Alessandro Turrini, 2012. "Fiscal consolidation in reformed and unreformed labour markets: A look at EU countries," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 462, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    9. Athanasios Tagkalakis, 2009. "Fiscal adjustments: do labor and product market institutions matter?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 389-411, June.

    More about this item


    deficits; Stability and Growth Pact; structural reforms;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General

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