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Towards expenditure rules and fiscal sanity in the euro area

  • Hauptmeier, Sebastian
  • Sanchez Fuentes, Jesus
  • Schuknecht, Ludger

The study looks at primary expenditure developments in the euro area, its three largest members and four “macro-imbalances” countries for the period 1999-2009. It compares actual expenditure trends with those that would have prevailed if countries had followed neutral policies based on expenditure rules since the start of EMU. It also calculates the implications for debt trends. It finds that, all sample countries except Germany applied expansionary expenditure policies. This resulted in much higher expenditure and debt paths compared to a counterfactual neutral expenditure stance. Simple and prudent rules-based spending policies could have led to much safer fiscal positions much more in line with the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact rules. JEL Classification: E17, E61, E65, H50, H60

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1266.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101266
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  1. G�nter Coenen & Christopher J. Erceg & Charles Freedman & Davide Furceri & Michael Kumhof & Ren� Lalonde & Douglas Laxton & Jesper Lind� & Annabelle Mourougane & Dirk Muir & Susanna Mursula & Carlos d, 2012. "Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 22-68, January.
  2. Tilman Brück & Rudolf Zwiener, 2004. "Fiscal Policy Rules for Stabilisation and Growth: A Simulation Analysis of Deficit and Expenditure Targets in a Monetary Union," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 427, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Jacopo Cimadomo, 2012. "Fiscal Policy in Real Time," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 440-465, 06.
  4. Menguy, Séverine, 2008. "A dynamic rule applied to the threshold imposed on the European budgetary deficits," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1093-1105.
  5. Peter Wierts, 2008. "How do Expenditure Rules affect Fiscal Behaviour?," DNB Working Papers 166, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  6. Xavier Debrun & Laurent Moulin & Alessandro Turrini & Joaquim Ayuso-i-Casals & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2008. "Tied to the mast? National fiscal rules in the European Union," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 297-362, 04.
  7. Alessandro Turrini, 2008. "Fiscal policy and the cycle in the Euro Area: The role of government revenue and expenditure," European Economy - Economic Papers 323, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  8. Michael Kumhof & Dirk Muir & Carlos de Resende & Jan in ‘t Veld & René Lalonde & Davide Furceri & Annabelle Mourougane & John Roberts & Stephen Snudden & Mathias Trabandt & Günter Coenen & Susanna, 2010. "Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models," IMF Working Papers 10/73, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Rother, Philipp, 2010. "The impact of numerical expenditure rules on budgetary discipline over the cycle," Working Paper Series 1169, European Central Bank.
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