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The discretionary fiscal effort: an assessment of fiscal policy and its output effect

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  • Nicolas Carnot
  • Franciso de Castro

Abstract

This paper presents an indicator of the fiscal stance that combines features of the bottom-up, narrative approach on the revenue side with a refined version of the top-down, traditional approach of the structural balance on the expenditure side. With these characteristics the indicator offers an image of fiscal policy that avoids both the 'endogeneity problems' of the structural balance and the 'indeterminacy' of the narrative approach. This indicator is used to shed light on EU fiscal policies and estimate the average short-term output effects of fiscal policy. Results suggest that, with exceptions, fiscal policy has been conducted in a more stop and go and pro-cyclical fashion over the past decade than suggested by traditional indicators. The average fiscal multiplier is estimated at a bit below unity on average, with higher (resp. lower) multipliers associated with expenditure (resp. revenue) shocks, and higher (resp. lower) multipliers in times of declining (resp. increasing) output gaps.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Carnot & Franciso de Castro, 2015. "The discretionary fiscal effort: an assessment of fiscal policy and its output effect," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 543, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0543
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    Cited by:

    1. van der Wielen, Wouter, 2020. "The macroeconomic effects of tax changes: Evidence using real-time data for the European Union," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 302-321.
    2. Cláudia Braz & Maria Manuel Campos, 2021. "Challenges in measuring fiscal effects," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    3. Fragetta, Matteo & Tamborini, Roberto, 2019. "It's not austerity. Or is it? Assessing the effect of austerity on growth in the European Union, 2010-15," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 196-212.
    4. Achim Truger, 2020. "Reforming EU Fiscal Rules: More Leeway, Investment Orientation and Democratic Coordination," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 55(5), pages 277-281, September.
    5. Achim Truger, 2015. "Implementing the golden rule for public investment in Europe," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 138, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    6. European Fiscal Board (EFB), 2020. "2020 annual report of the European Fiscal Board," Annual reports 2020, European Fiscal Board.
    7. Kuusi, Tero & Puonti, Päivi, 2021. "Keep It Simple, Not Stupid – How to Save the EU Fiscal Framework?," ETLA Reports 120, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    8. Peter Mandzak, "undated". "The Impact of Fiscal Consolidation on Inequality:The Case of V4 Countries," Department of Economic Policy Working Paper Series 015, Department of Economic Policy, Faculty of National Economy, University of Economics in Bratislava.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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