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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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5217.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5217
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  1. Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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, 04.
  3. 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 1146-55, December.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
  5. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
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