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Does fiscal austerity affect public opinion?

Listed author(s):
  • Stracca, Livio
  • Kalbhenn, Anna

In this paper we explore the impact of fiscal austerity on three different dimensions of public opinion (overall life satisfaction and confidence, attitude towards national authorities, and European institutions). Based on a panel of 26 EU countries, we find that, overall, fiscal consolidation episodes tend to have little and inconsistent impact on our measures of public opinion once we include macro controls (real GDP growth, inflation, unemployment, and whether a country is in a EU/IMF program). Some of the circumstances under which consolidation is undertaken are significant in explaining the effect on public opinion, but also these effects are neither strong nor consistent throughout. We conclude that the effect of fiscal consolidation measures on public opinion mainly operates through their effect on the macroeconomy. JEL Classification: H2, H3, H5, H6

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File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1774.en.pdf
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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1774.

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Date of creation: Apr 2015
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20151774
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  1. Marco Buti & Alessandro Turrini & Paul Van den Noord & Pietro Biroli, 2010. "Reforms and re-elections in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 61-116, 01.
  2. Bernd Hayo & Florian Neumeier, 2013. "Public Attitudes Toward Fiscal Consolidation: Evidence from a Representative German Population Survey," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201351, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  3. Helmut Stix, 2013. "Does the Broad Public Want to Consolidate Public Debt? – The Role of Fairness and of Policy Credibility," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 102-129, 02.
  4. Babecký, Jan & Havránek, Tomáš & Matějů, Jakub & Rusnák, Marek & Šmídková, Kateřina & Vašíček, Bořek, 2014. "Banking, debt, and currency crises in developed countries: Stylized facts and early warning indicators," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 1-17.
  5. Roel Beetsma & Jacopo Cimadomo & Oana Furtuna & Massimo Giuliodori1, 2015. "The confidence effects of fiscal consolidations," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(83), pages 439-489.
  6. Stracca, Livio, 2014. "Financial imbalances and household welfare: Empirical evidence from the EU," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 11(C), pages 82-91.
  7. Jaejoon Woo & Elva Bova & Tidiane Kinda & Yuanyan S Zhang, 2013. "Distributional Consequences of Fiscal Consolidation and the Role of Fiscal Policy; What Do the Data Say?," IMF Working Papers 13/195, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Jacopo Ponticelli & Joachim Voth, 2011. "Austerity and anarchy: Budget cuts and social unrest in Europe, 1919-2008," Economics Working Papers 1342, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2012.
  9. Andrea Pescatori & Daniel Leigh & Jaime Guajardo & Pete Devries, 2011. "A New Action-Based Dataset of Fiscal Consolidation," IMF Working Papers 11/128, International Monetary Fund.
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