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Quality of public finances and growth


  • Schuknecht, Ludger
  • Ebert, Werner
  • Thöne, Michael
  • Afonso, António


In this paper we review the linkages between the quality of public finances, that is, the level and composition of public expenditure and its financing via revenue and deficits, and economic growth. We review the various channels through which public finances affect growth and its underlying determinants (institutional framework, employment, savings and investment, innovation). The paper addresses the approaches used to assess the performance and efficiency of public spending, and surveys the empirical findings on the impact of fiscal variables on sustained economic growth. JEL Classification: H50, O40

Suggested Citation

  • Schuknecht, Ludger & Ebert, Werner & Thöne, Michael & Afonso, António, 2005. "Quality of public finances and growth," Working Paper Series 438, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2005438

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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Martínez-Vázquez & Violeta Vulovic & Blanca Moreno Dodson, 2012. "The Impact of Tax and Expenditure Policies on Income Distribution: Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 200(1), pages 95-130, March.
    2. Markus Gstoettner & Anders Jensen, 2010. "Aid and Public Finance: A Missing Link?," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 38(2), pages 217-235, June.
    3. Sebastian Hauptmeier & Martin Heipertz & Ludger Schuknecht, 2007. "Expenditure Reform in Industrialised Countries: A Case-Study Approach," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(3), pages 293-342, September.
    4. Ignacio Lozano & Karen Rodríguez, 2011. "Assessing the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy in Colombia," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 206-228, August.
    5. Ignacio Lozano Espitia & Karen Rodríguez, 2009. "Assessing the Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 005386, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    6. LSE Enterprise,, 2011. "Study on the impact of the single market on cohesion: implications for cohesion policy, growth and competitiveness," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 42840, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Jean Pisani-Ferry & Xavier Debrun & André Sapir, 2008. "Government Size and Output Volatility; Should We Forsake Automatic Stabilization?," IMF Working Papers 08/122, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Beraldo, Sergio & Montolio, Daniel & Turati, Gilberto, 2009. "Healthy, educated and wealthy: A primer on the impact of public and private welfare expenditures on economic growth," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 946-956, December.
    9. Iris Claus & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & VIoleta Vulovic, 2012. "Government Fiscal Policies and Redistribution in Asian Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1213, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    10. Döhrn, Roland & Barabas, György & Gebhardt, Heinz & Middendorf, Torge & Schäfer, Günter & Zimmermann, Tobias, 2008. "Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung im Inland: Konjunktur im Zwischentief," RWI Konjunkturberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, vol. 59(1), pages 31-82.
    11. Guillem López Casasnovas, 2010. "La calidad del gasto público y su influencia en el desarrollo económico: una validación empírica para los países de la OCDE 1970-2005," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 193(2), pages 9-48, June.
    12. Afonso, António & Furceri, Davide, 2010. "Government size, composition, volatility and economic growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 517-532, December.
    13. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2007. "The bigger the better? Evidence of the effect of government size on life satisfaction around the world," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 267-292, March.
    14. Nina Hetzer & Andreas Peichl, 2010. "Steuerstrukturreform trotz leerer Kassen?!," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 63(01), pages 28-35, January.
    15. Agáta Drobiszová & Zuzana Machová, 2015. "Vliv fiskální politiky na ekonomický růst v zemích OECD
      [The Impact of Fiscal Policy on Economic Growth in the OECD Countries]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2015(3), pages 300-316.
    16. 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).
    17. Antonio Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2010. "Public sector efficiency: evidence for new EU member states and emerging markets," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(17), pages 2147-2164.
    18. Schuknecht, Ludger & Tanzi, Vito, 2005. "Reforming public expenditure in industrialised countries: are there trade-offs?," Working Paper Series 435, European Central Bank.
    19. Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (Essen) (ed.), 2014. "Gesetz zur Vorlage einer verbindlichen Finanzplanung bis 2020. Stellungnahme zur Anhörung im Landtag Nordrhein-Westfalen am 22. Mai 2014," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 111438.
    20. Alessandro Giosi & Silvia Testarmata & Sandro Brunelli & Bianca Staglianò, 2012. "Does the Quality of Public Finance Enhance Fiscal Discipline in the European Union? A Cross-Country Analysis," DSI Essays Series, DSI - Dipartimento di Studi sull'Impresa, vol. 21.
    21. Hans Pitlik & Margit Schratzenstaller, 2011. "Growth Implications of Structure and Size of Public Sectors," WIFO Working Papers 404, WIFO.
    22. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, 2006. "Government Effects on the Distribution of Income: An Overview," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_442, Levy Economics Institute.
    23. Viegas, Miguel & Ribeiro, Ana Paula, 2013. "Welfare-improving government behavior and inequality in a heterogeneous agents model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 146-160.
    24. Moisa Altar & Judita Samuel, 2008. "The Influence of Fiscal Policy on Economic Growth," Advances in Economic and Financial Research - DOFIN Working Paper Series 7, Bucharest University of Economics, Center for Advanced Research in Finance and Banking - CARFIB.

    More about this item


    efficiency; growth; quality of public finances;

    JEL classification:

    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General


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