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The dynamic behaviour of budget components and output – the cases of France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain

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  • António Afonso
  • Peter Claeys

Abstract

The main focus of this paper is the relation between the cyclical components of total revenues and expenditures and the budget balance in France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain. We try to uncover past trends behind the development of public finances that contribute to explaining the current stance of fiscal policy. The disaggregate analysis of fiscal policy in an SVAR that mixes long and short-term constraints allows us to look into the transmission channels of fiscal policy and to derive a model-based indicator of structural balance. The main conclusions are that fiscal slippages are mainly due to reversals in tax policies, which are unmatched by expenditure adjustments. As a consequence, deficits rise when economic conditions worsen but cause a ‘ratcheting up’ in the size of government in economic booms. The Stability and Growth Pact has not eradicated these procyclical policies. Bad policies in good times also contribute to aggregate macroeconomic instability.

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  • António Afonso & Peter Claeys, 2006. "The dynamic behaviour of budget components and output – the cases of France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/26, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp262006
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    Cited by:

    1. António Afonso, 2007. "Public finances in Portugal: a brief longrun view," Working Papers Department of Economics 2007/01, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal indicator; structural balance; output gap; SGP; EMU; SVAR; short and longterm restrictions.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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