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Sustainability of EU public finances

  • Fernando C. Ballabriga
  • Carlos Martinez-Mongay
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    We use a policy rule framework and focus on the response of the primary surplus to accumulated public debt to test a sufficient condition for sustainability. The evidence we report suggests that sustainability was prevalent in many EU countries before Maastricht, but also that the Maastricht impulse induced the shift towards sustainability in some of them. Additionally, although a clear distinction emerges in terms of the visibility of the Maastricht stress between the euro bloc, on the one hand, and the non-euro EU countries, the US and Japan, on the other, there is no evidence of bloc differences in terms of the long term soundness of public finances. On the basis of our analysis and results, we highlight the potential policy relevance of the reaction of the primary surplus to accumulated debt in the debate on the proper balance between fiscal stabilization and discipline in EMU.

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    File URL: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/publication672_en.pdf
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    Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 225.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0225
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Coomunivcations Unit, B-1049 Bruxelles / Brussels
    Fax: +32 2 298.08.23
    Web page: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/index_en.htm
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    1. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
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