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Can EU Conditionality Remedy Soft Budget Constraints In Transition Countries?

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  • Herbert Bruecker
  • Philipp Schroder
  • Christian Weise

Abstract

Soft budget constraints (SBCs) are a persistent feature of transition economies and have been blamed for i.a. a lack of fiscal consolidation and sluggish growth. EU eastward enlargement has - among other things - been conditioned on tackling SBCs. This paper analyzes such outside conditionality theoretically and empirically. First, modelling the SBC problem as a war of attrition between the applicant countries' governments and firms we find that outside conditionality can foster SBC hardening. Yet, toughening the EU stance or reducing the number of enlargement rounds may have ambiguous effects. Second, estimating SBC hardening in a partial adjustment model by measuring the reaction of employment to output changes we find that EU conditionality did indeed help candidates to fight SBCs.
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Suggested Citation

  • Herbert Bruecker & Philipp Schroder & Christian Weise, 2004. "Can EU Conditionality Remedy Soft Budget Constraints In Transition Countries?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 126, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2004:126
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    Cited by:

    1. Schönfelder, Nina & Wagner, Helmut, 2015. "The impact of European integration on institutional development," MPRA Paper 63392, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Driffield, Nigel & Pal, Sarmistha & Roland, Isabelle, 2012. "When does leverage hurt productivity growth? A firm-level analysis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, pages 1674-1694.
    3. Everaert, Greetje M.M., 2004. "The political economy of restructuring and subsidisation : an international perspective," BOFIT Discussion Papers 12/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    4. Herbert Brücker & Philipp Schröder, 2007. "EU accession and the hardening of soft budget constraints: some macro evidence," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 235-252, September.
    5. Ayala, Astrid & Blazsek, Szabolcs, 2013. "Structural breaks in public finances in Central and Eastern European countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 45-60.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General

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