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Discretionary Fiscal Policies over the Cycle: New Evidence based on the ESCB Disaggregated Approach

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  • Agnello, Luca
  • Cimadomo, Jacopo

Abstract

This paper explores how discretionary fiscal policies on the revenue side of the government budget have reacted to economic fluctuations in European Union countries. For this purpose, it uses data on legislated revenue changes and structural indicators provided twice per year by National Central Banks of European Union countries in the ESCB framework for analysing fiscal policy. The analysis is based on the estimation of fiscal policy rules linking these measures of legislated fiscal policy changes to the output gap and other control variables. Then, baseline results are compared with regression estimates where variations of cyclically-adjusted indicators are used as proxy for discretionary fiscal policies, as conventionally proposed in the empirical literature on fiscal policy. Results suggest that, overall, legislated changes in taxes and social security contributions have responded in a strongly pro-cyclical way to the business cycle, while commonly-used cyclical-adjustment methods point to a-cyclicality. JEL Classification: E62, E65, H20

Suggested Citation

  • Agnello, Luca & Cimadomo, Jacopo, 2009. "Discretionary Fiscal Policies over the Cycle: New Evidence based on the ESCB Disaggregated Approach," Working Paper Series 1118, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20091118
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacopo Cimadomo & Sebastian Hauptmeier & Tom Zimmermann, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidations and Banking Stability," Working Papers 2012-32, CEPII research center.
    2. Agnello, L. & Furceri, D. & R.M, Sousa., 2011. "Fiscal Policy Discretion, Private Spending, and Crisis Episodes," Working papers 354, Banque de France.
    3. Cimadomo, Jacopo & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Zimmermann, Tom, 2014. "Fiscal consolidations and bank balance sheets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 74-90.
    4. António Afonso & Jaromír Baxa & Michal Slavík, 2018. "Fiscal developments and financial stress: a threshold VAR analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 395-423, March.
    5. Schmiedel, Heiko & Bolt, Wilko & Foote, Elizabeth, 2011. "Consumer credit and payment cards," Working Paper Series 1387, European Central Bank.
    6. Luca Agnello & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2013. "Political, Institutional, and Economic Factors Underlying Deficit Volatility," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 719-732, September.
    7. Cassette, Aurélie & Creel, Jérôme & Farvaque, Etienne & Paty, Sonia, 2013. "Governments under influence: Country interactions in discretionary fiscal policy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 79-89.
    8. Attinasi, Maria Grazia & Klemm, Alexander, 2016. "The growth impact of discretionary fiscal policy measures," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 265-279.
    9. Dieppe, Alistair & Ortega, Eva & D'Agostino, Antonello & Karlsson, Tohmas & Benkovskis, Konstantins & Caivano, Michele & Hurtado, Samuel & Várnai, Tímea, 2011. "Assessing the sensitivity of inflation to economic activity," Working Paper Series 1357, European Central Bank.
    10. Mohl, Philipp & Hagen, Tobias, 2011. "Do EU structural funds promote regional employment? Evidence from dynamic panel data models," Working Paper Series 1403, European Central Bank.
    11. Manuel Coutinho Pereira & Lara Wemans, 2015. "Output Effects of a Measure of Tax Shocks Based on Changes in Legislation for Portugal," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 215(4), pages 27-62, December.
    12. Pusch, Toralf & Kumpmann, Ingmar, 2011. "The Political Setting of Social Security Contributions in Europe in the Business Cycle," IWH Discussion Papers 4/2011, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    13. Florence Huart, 2013. "Is Fiscal Policy Procyclical in the Euro Area?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(1), pages 73-88, February.
    14. António Afonso & João Tovar-Valles, 2011. "Economic Performance and Government Size," Working Papers Department of Economics 2011/21, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    15. Agnello, Luca & Dufrénot, Gilles & Sousa, Ricardo M., 2013. "Using time-varying transition probabilities in Markov switching processes to adjust US fiscal policy for asset prices," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 25-36.
    16. Lara Wemans & Manuel Coutinho Pereira, 2013. "The macroeconomic effects of legislated tax changes in Portugal," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    17. Anderton, Robert & Tewolde, Tadios, 2011. "The global financial crisis: trying to understand the global trade downturn and recovery," Working Paper Series 1370, European Central Bank.
    18. Martina Dalic, 2013. "Cyclical properties of fiscal policy in new member states of the EU," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 289-308, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cyclical sensitivity; Discretionary fiscal policies; ESCB disaggregated framework; government revenues; legislation changes; narrative approach;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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