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The relevance of fiscal rules for fiscal and yield developments

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  • António Afonso
  • Ana Sofia Guimarães

Abstract

Numerical fiscal rules mitigate the bias of pro-cyclicality, as an alternative to discretionary measures conducted by policy makers. We assess whether fiscal rules impact budget balances and sovereign yields, and we perform a simulation exercise to compute debt developments of EU countries, assuming that they had implemented a numerical expenditure rule in 1990. Our panel analysis covers 27 EU countries between 1990 and 2011. We find that fiscal rules contribute to the reduction of budget deficits, specifically expenditure rules, which significantly impact primary expenditure and conclude that countries with rules experienced lower sovereign bond yields. The simulations show that when the same rule is applied to different countries, it produces very different results, particularly on account of the initial level of primary expenditure.

Suggested Citation

  • António Afonso & Ana Sofia Guimarães, 2014. "The relevance of fiscal rules for fiscal and yield developments," Working Papers Department of Economics 2014/05, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp052014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pina, Álvaro M. & Venes, Nuno M., 2011. "The political economy of EDP fiscal forecasts: An empirical assessment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 534-546, September.
    2. Schuknecht, Ludger, 2004. "EU fiscal rules: issues and lessons from political economy," Working Paper Series 421, European Central Bank.
    3. Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Sanchez-Fuentes, A. Jesus & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2011. "Towards expenditure rules and fiscal sanity in the euro area," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 597-617, July.
    4. Cândida Ferreira, 2009. "Fiscal Behaviour in the European Union: Rules, Fiscal Decentralization and Government Indebtedness," Working Papers Department of Economics 2009/23, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    5. Xavier Debrun & Laurent Moulin & Alessandro Turrini & Joaquim Ayuso-i-Casals & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2008. "Tied to the mast? National fiscal rules in the European Union," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 297-362, April.
    6. Peter Wierts, 2008. "How do Expenditure Rules affect Fiscal Behaviour?," DNB Working Papers 166, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. F. Holm-Hadulla & S. Hauptmeier & P. Rother, 2012. "The impact of expenditure rules on budgetary discipline over the cycle," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(25), pages 3287-3296, September.
    8. Anja Baum & Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro & Anke Weber, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers and the State of the Economy," IMF Working Papers 12/286, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Jocelyn Boussard & Francisco de Castro & Matteo Salto, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers and Public Debt Dynamics in Consolidations," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 460, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    10. Nina T Budina & Andrea Schaechter & Anke Weber & Tidiane Kinda, 2012. "Fiscal Rules in Response to the Crisis; Toward the "Next-Generation" Rules: A New Dataset," IMF Working Papers 12/187, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bergman, U. Michael & Hutchison, Michael M. & Jensen, Svend E. Hougaard, 2016. "Promoting sustainable public finances in the European Union: The role of fiscal rules and government efficiency," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-19.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    numerical fiscal rules; expenditure rules; budget balance; sovereign yields.;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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