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Stability Criteria and Convergence: The Role of the System of National Accounts for Fiscal Policy in Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Tilman Brück
  • Andreas Cors
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann
  • Rudolf Zwiener

Abstract

The standardisation of the European systems of national accounts has progressed significantly in recent years. Some room for interpretation remains in regard to some accounting standards, the periodicity of the data, and the quality of the forecasts of budget deficits. Yet national accounts data of the eurozone countries are now a reliable basis for macroeconomic policy decisions. The stability and growth pact of the eurozone countries relies heavily on one indicator of fiscal discipline, the budget deficit as a share of gross domestic product. Drawing from simulation evidence of the German economy, it is argued that fulfilling the deficit target is no guarantee for achieving output stabilisation. The pact hence fails to internalise the externalities arising from a decentralised fiscal policy in the European monetary union. The deficit target could be replaced with an expenditure target. Given the macroeconomic policy objectives of the euro economies it would be more appropriate to hand the supervision of an amended stability pact to an independent council of economic experts. Such council could assess the macroeconomic environment more carefully and could have the authority to caution and fine fiscally irresponsible eurozone governments.

Suggested Citation

  • Tilman Brück & Andreas Cors & Klaus F. Zimmermann & Rudolf Zwiener, 2002. "Stability Criteria and Convergence: The Role of the System of National Accounts for Fiscal Policy in Europe," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 318, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp318
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.38581.de/dp318.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruck, Tilman & Zwiener, Rudolf, 2006. "Fiscal policy rules for stabilisation and growth: A simulation analysis of deficit and expenditure targets in a monetary union," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 357-369, May.
    2. Dolls, Mathias & Peichl, Andreas & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Eine Herausforderung für die G20: Global vereinbarte Schuldenbremsen und transnationale fiskalpolitische Aufsichtsgremien," IZA Standpunkte 45, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Simulation; fiscal policy; international policy coordination;

    JEL classification:

    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission

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