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Public investment and the EU fiscal framework

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  • Alessandro Turrini

Abstract

It is often claimed that the introduction of the EU rules-based fiscal framework of the Maastricht Treaty and the Stability and Growth Pact was responsible for a decline in public investment shares in EU countries. Proposals have also been made in recent times in favour of a revision of the EU fiscal framework in such a way to grant special treatment to public capital expenditures (e.g., by amending it with a ‘golden rule'). This paper analyses empirically the relation between the introduction of the EU fiscal framework and public investment. Results from panel data analysis suggest that the impact of the EU rules for fiscal discipline is not a clear-cut one. On the one hand, after phase II of EMU, public investment is found to be more negatively affected by debt levels. This is consistent with the view that in the run-up to Maastricht the budgetary adjustment implied a significant decline in public investment, especially in high-debt countries. On the other hand, results indicate that after phase II of EMU public investment became positively related to previous period budget balances, so that the improvement in the budget balances consequent to the introduction of the EU fiscal rules may have helped to create room for public investment in several EU countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Turrini, 2004. "Public investment and the EU fiscal framework," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 202, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0202
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. João Sousa Andrade & Adelaide Duarte, 2011. "The Fundamentals of the Portuguese Crisis," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(2), pages 195-218, June.
    2. Marta Simões & João Andrade & Adelaide Duarte, 2013. "A regional perspective on inequality and growth in Portugal using panel cointegration analysis," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 427-451, September.
    3. Kappeler, Andreas & Välilä, Timo, 2008. "Fiscal federalism and the composition of public investment in Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 562-570, September.
    4. Beetsma, Roel & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2007. "The Political Economy of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6090, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. repec:wfo:wstudy:60595 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Roel M.W.J. Beetsma & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2007. "Partisan Public Investment and Debt: The Case for Fiscal Restrictions," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/37, European University Institute.
    7. Andrew Hughes Hallett & John Lewis, 2005. "Fiscal Discipline before and after EMU - Permanent Weight Loss or Crash Diet?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0516, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    8. António Afonso & João Tovar Jalles, 2011. "Linking Investment and Fiscal Policies," Working Papers Department of Economics 2011/16, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    9. Jef Vuchelen & Stijn Caekelbergh, 2010. "Explaining public investment in Western Europe," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(14), pages 1783-1796.
    10. Straub, Roland & Tchakarov, Ivan, 2007. "Assessing the impact of a change in the composition of public spending: a DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 795, European Central Bank.
    11. Jan Hagemejer & Tomasz Jedrzejowicz & Zbigniew Zolkiewski, 2011. "Fiscal tightening after the crisis. A scenario analysis for Poland," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 42(3), pages 33-66.
    12. Hans Pitlik, 2010. "Fiscal Governance and Government Investment in Europe since the 1990s," WIFO Working Papers 370, WIFO.
    13. Buti, M. & Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Franco, D., 2005. "The Stability pact Pains : A Forward-Looking Assessment of the Reform Debate," Discussion Paper 2005-101, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    14. Alessandro Turrini, 2008. "Fiscal policy and the cycle in the Euro Area: The role of government revenue and expenditure," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 323, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

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