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The impact of numerical expenditure rules on budgetary discipline over the cycle

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  • Hauptmeier, Sebastian
  • Rother, Philipp
  • Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric

Abstract

We study the impact of numerical expenditure rules on the propensity of governments to deviate from expenditure targets in response to surprises in cyclical conditions. Theoretical considerations suggest that due to political fragmentation in the budgetary process expenditure policy might be prone to a pro-cyclical bias. However, this tendency may be mitigated by numerical expenditure rules. These hypotheses are tested against data from a panel of EU Member States. Our key findings are that (i) deviations between actual and planned government expenditure are positively related to unanticipated changes in the output gap, and (ii) numerical expenditure rules reduce this pro-cyclical bias. Moreover, the pro-cyclical spending bias is found to be particularly pronounced for spending items with a high degree of budgetary flexibility. JEL Classification: C23, E62, H50

Suggested Citation

  • Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Rother, Philipp & Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric, 2010. "The impact of numerical expenditure rules on budgetary discipline over the cycle," Working Paper Series 1169, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101169
    Note: 538998
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    Cited by:

    1. Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Sanchez-Fuentes, A. Jesus & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2011. "Towards expenditure rules and fiscal sanity in the euro area," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 597-617, July.
    2. repec:ces:ifodic:v:9:y:2011:i:3:p:16750160 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. van Riet, Ad, 2010. "Euro area fiscal policies and the crisis," Occasional Paper Series 109, European Central Bank.
    4. Jacopo Cimadomo, 2016. "Real-Time Data And Fiscal Policy Analysis: A Survey Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 302-326, April.
    5. Sebastian Hauptmeier & A. Jesús Sánchez Fuentes & Ludger Schuknecht, 2015. "Spending Dynamics in Euro Area Countries: Composition and Determinants," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 215(4), pages 119-138, December.
    6. Miss Anke Weber & Mr. Tidiane Kinda & Ms. Priscilla S Muthoora & Till Cordes, 2015. "Expenditure Rules: Effective Tools for Sound Fiscal Policy?," IMF Working Papers 2015/029, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Jernej Mencinger Aleksander Aristovnik, 2014. "Fiscal Policy Stance Reaction to the Financial/Economic Crisis in the EMU: The Case of Slovenia," Zagreb International Review of Economics and Business, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, vol. 17(Special C), pages 17-30, December.
    8. Dean Croushore & Simon van Norden, 2014. "Fiscal policy: ex ante and ex post," Working Papers 14-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    9. Mencinger, Jernej & Aristovnik, Aleksander, 2013. "Fiscal Policy Stance in the European Union: The Impact of the Euro," MPRA Paper 44708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Ludger Schuknecht & Philippe Moutot & Philipp Rother & Jürgen Stark, 2011. "The Stability and Growth Pact: Crisis and Reform," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(03), pages 10-17, October.
    11. Roel Beetsma & Benjamin Bluhm & Massimo Giuliodori & Peter Wierts, 2011. "From First-Release to Ex-Post Fiscal Data: Exploring the Sources of Revision Errors in the EU," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-080/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Ludger Schuknecht & Philippe Moutot & Philipp Rother & Jürgen Stark, 2011. "The Stability and Growth Pact: Crisis and Reform," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(3), pages 10-18, October.
    13. Torbe M. Andersen, 2012. "Fiscal sustainability and fiscal policy targets," Economics Working Papers 2012-15, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    14. repec:ces:ifodic:v:9:y:2011:i:3:p:10-17 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    expenditure rules; fiscal discipline; spending bias; stabilisation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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