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Breaking the Impediments to Budgetary Reforms; Evidence from Europe


  • Ashoka Mody
  • Stefania Fabrizio


Under what conditions are budget institutions likely to be strengthened? We find that fiscal deficits do not help in focusing policymakers on undertaking reforms. To the contrary, the larger the deficit, the lower is the likelihood of reforms. Large deficits apparently imply strong claims on the budget and, hence, generate unwillingness to impose self-discipline. As such, countries will tend to move either to small fiscal deficits and good institutions or large deficits and weak institutions. Economic shocks (if they are large enough) can help build a constituency for improving budget institutions. However, if forgiving markets accommodate economic shocks, even such pressure may be insufficient. Forwardlooking and credible leadership appears to be an important ingredient of the solution.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashoka Mody & Stefania Fabrizio, 2008. "Breaking the Impediments to Budgetary Reforms; Evidence from Europe," IMF Working Papers 08/82, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/82

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stefania Fabrizio & Ashoka Mody, 2006. "Can budget institutions counteract political indiscipline?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(48), pages 689-739, October.
    2. Mark Hallerberg & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 209-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Abdul Abiad & Ashoka Mody, 2005. "Financial Reform: What Shakes It? What Shapes It?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 66-88, March.
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    7. Hallerberg, Mark & Strauch, Rolf & von Hagen, Jurgen, 2007. "The design of fiscal rules and forms of governance in European Union countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 338-359, June.
    8. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
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    10. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Trebbi, 2006. "Who Adjusts and When? On the Political Economy of Reforms," NBER Working Papers 12049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Gleich, Holger, 2003. "Budget institutions and fiscal performance in Central and Eastern European countries," Working Paper Series 215, European Central Bank.
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    13. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ellegård, Lina Maria, 2013. "Divided We Fall. Conflicts of Interests Regarding Fiscal Discipline in Municipal Hierarchies," Working Papers 2013:42, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    2. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Karsten Staehr, 2013. "Fiscal shocks and budget balance persistence in the EU countries from Central and Eastern Europe," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(22), pages 3211-3219, August.
    3. Bruno Albuquerque, 2012. "Fiscal institutions and public spending volatility in Europe," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    4. Josefa Ramoni-Perazzi & Giampaolo Orlandoni-Merli, 2013. "El índice de miseria corregido por informalidad: una aplicación al caso de Venezuela," REVISTA ECOS DE ECONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT, December.
    5. Stefania Fabrizio & Daniel Leigh & Ashoka Mody, 2009. "The second transition: Eastern Europe in perspective," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 366, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    6. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2012. "Ideology and fiscal policy: quasi-experimental evidence from the German States," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 144, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Karsten Staehr, 2010. "The global financial crisis and public finances in the New EU Countries from Central and Eastern Europe," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2010-02, Bank of Estonia, revised 04 Feb 2010.
    8. Jens Dietrichson & Lina Ellegård, 2015. "Institutions improving fiscal performance: evidence from Swedish municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(5), pages 861-886, October.


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