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A New Rule; The Swiss Debt Brake

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  • Stephan Danninger

Abstract

The paper provides an international comparison and a comprehensive analysis of a new fiscal expenditure rule for the federal government in Switzerland. The proposed rule has two innovative features: it aims at a structurally balanced budget in the short-run by annually setting a cyclically adjusted expenditure ceiling, and it arrests the accumulation of public debt via corrections of future expenditure targets for past deviations from projected fiscal balances. The paper finds that the new rule is likely to reduce procyclical tendencies in fiscal policy and that its objectives are adequate in meeting long-run fiscal challenges arising from demographic changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan Danninger, 2002. "A New Rule; The Swiss Debt Brake," IMF Working Papers 02/18, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:02/18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    3. George Kopits & Steven A. Symansky, 1998. "Fiscal Policy Rules," IMF Occasional Papers 162, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-1189, December.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Lars P. Feld, 2004. "Do Large Cabinets Favor Large Governments? Evidence from Swiss Sub-Federal Jurisdictions," CESifo Working Paper Series 1294, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Lars P. Feld, 2008. "Do Large Cabinets Favor Large Governments? Evidence on Institutional Restraints on the Fiscal Commons Problem for Swiss Cantons," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-10, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    3. Lars P. Feld, 2010. "Sinnhaftigkeit und Effektivität der deutschen Schuldenbremse," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(3), pages 226-245, August.
    4. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "United Kingdom; Selected Issues Paper," IMF Staff Country Reports 10/337, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Hetschko, Clemens & Quint, Dominic & Thye, Marius, 2012. "Nationale Schuldenbremsen für die Länder der Europäischen Union: Taugt das deutsche Modell als Vorbild?," Discussion Papers 2012/12, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    6. David Prušvic, 2010. "Evropská fiskální pravidla a jejich účinnost: prvních 15 let
      [European Fiscal Policy Rules: First 15 Years]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(1), pages 51-69.
    7. Eric M. Leeper, 2016. "Should Central Banks Care About Fiscal Rules?," NBER Working Papers 22800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Petia Topalova & Dan Nyberg, 2010. "What Level of Public Debt Could India Target?," IMF Working Papers 10/7, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Feld, Lars P., 2009. "Do large cabinets favor large governments? Evidence on the fiscal commons problem for Swiss Cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 35-47, February.
    10. Steven A. Symansky & Xavier Debrun & Natan P. Epstein, 2008. "A New Fiscal Rule; Should Israel “Go Swiss?”," IMF Working Papers 08/87, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Berthold Norbert & Koch Daniel, 2008. "Von der (Un-)Möglichkeit ausgeglichener Haushalte / The Impossibility of balanced budgets," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 59(1), pages 39-62, January.
    12. Eric Mayer & Nikolai Stähler, 2013. "The debt brake: business cycle and welfare consequences of Germany’s new fiscal policy rule," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 39-74, February.
    13. Erik J. Lundback, 2008. "Medium-Term Budgetary Frameworks - Lessons for Austria from International Experience," IMF Working Papers 08/163, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Gebhard Kirchgässner & Silika Prohl, 2008. "Sustainability of Swiss Fiscal Policy," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 144(I), pages 57-83, March.
    15. Frank Bodmer, 2006. "The Swiss Debt Brake: How it Works and What Can Go Wrong," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(III), pages 307-330, September.
    16. Bai, Yuting & Leeper, Eric M., 2017. "Fiscal stabilization vs. passivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 105-108.
    17. Krisztina Tóth, 2005. "The Impact of Legislature and Citizens on the Budgeting Process in Switzerland: Lessons for Central and Eastern Europe," FSES Working Papers 387, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    18. Simon Luechinger & Christoph Schaltegger, 2013. "Fiscal rules, budget deficits and budget projections," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(5), pages 785-807, October.

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