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The cyclicality of consumption, wages and employment of the public sector in the euro area

  • Lamo, Ana
  • Pérez, Javier J.
  • Schuknecht, Ludger

This study examines the business cycle behaviour of public consumption and its main components; the public wage bill (including compensation per employee and public employment) and intermediate consumption in the euro area aggregate, euro area countries and a group of selected non-euro area OECD countries (Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Japan and the US). It looks across a large number of variables and methods, using annual data from 1960 to 2005. It finds robust evidence supporting that public consumption, wages and employment co-move with the business cycle in a pro-cyclical manner with 1-2 year lags, notably for the euro area aggregate and euro area countries. The findings reflect mainly the correlation between cyclical developments (automatic stabilizers), but also point to the important role of pro-cyclical discretionary fiscal policies. JEL Classification: E62, E63, H50

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0757.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070757
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  1. Canova, Fabio, 1998. "Detrending and business cycle facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 475-512, May.
  2. den Haan, Wouter J., 2000. "The comovement between output and prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 3-30, August.
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  13. Adriana Arreaza & Bent E. Sorensen & Oved Yosha, 1998. "Consumption Smoothing through Fiscal Policy in OECD and EU Countries," NBER Working Papers 6372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Andre, Francisco J. & Perez, Javier J. & Martin, Ricardo, 2002. "Computing white stylized facts on comovement," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 65-71, June.
  17. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2003. "The Band Pass Filter," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 435-465, 05.
  18. Philip R. Lane, 2002. "The Cyclical Behaviour of Fiscal Policy: Evidence from the OECD," Trinity Economics Papers 20022, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
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