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Is fiscal policy in the euro area Ricardian?


  • Nikki Panjer
  • Leo de Haan
  • Jan Jacobs


According to the so-called 'fiscal theory of the price level' (FTPL), under a non-Ricardian regime the price level has to adjust to fulfil the government's budget constraint. In contrast, under a Ricardian regime, government balances adjust in order to preserve government solvency. We empirically determine whether a Ricardian or a non-Ricardian regime is more plausible for the euro area, following the research strategy of Canzoneri, Cumby, and Diba (2001). A Vector AutoRegressive (VAR) model for the primary government balance and the government debt is estimated for the period 1980q2-2013q4. Our model uses dummy interaction terms to account for the breaks due to the introduction of the Euro Convergence Criteria (ECC) and the start of the global financial crisis, respectively. No evidence is found in favour of either regime for the pre-ECC period. In the post-ECC period, a Ricardian regime is more plausible. Some evidence points in the direction of a non-Ricardian regime for the period after the start of the financial crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikki Panjer & Leo de Haan & Jan Jacobs, 2017. "Is fiscal policy in the euro area Ricardian?," DNB Working Papers 562, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:562

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Fiscal Policy; Euro area; Ricardian regime;

    JEL classification:

    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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