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Fiscal Targets, Automatic Stabilisers and their Effects on Output


  • Ray Barrell
  • Ian Hurst
  • Álvaro Pina


In this paper we review the European macroeconomic policy framework, and address the issue of setting safe deficit targets - targets that make it very unlikely that a country exceeds the 3 per cent ceiling of the Stability and Growth Pact. In this context, the scope for an increase in public investment is discussed. We also look at automatic stabilizers and argue that their ability to smooth output depends on the kind of disturbance that hits the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Ray Barrell & Ian Hurst & Álvaro Pina, 2002. "Fiscal Targets, Automatic Stabilisers and their Effects on Output," Working Papers Department of Economics 2002/05, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp52002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allsopp, Chris, et al, 1997. "Monetary and Fiscal Stabilization of Demand Shocks within Europe," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(4), pages 55-76, Supplemen.
    2. Michael J. Artis & Marco Buti, 2000. "'Close-to-Balance or in Surplus': A Policy-Maker's Guide to the Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 563-591, November.
    3. Dury, Karen & Pina, Alvaro M., 2003. "Fiscal policy in EMU: simulating the operation of the Stability Pact," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 179-206, February.
    4. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1995. "Restraining Yourself: The Implications of Fiscal Rules for Economic Stabilization," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 32-48, March.
    5. Buti, Marco & Franco, Daniele & Ongena, Hedwig, 1998. "Fiscal Discipline and Flexibility in EMU: The Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 81-97, Autumn.
    6. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1998. "The Stability Pact: more than a minor nuisance?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 65-113, April.
    7. Melitz, Jacques, 1997. "Some Cross-Country Evidence about Debt, Deficits and the Behaviour of Monetary and Fiscal Authorities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1653, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. André Sapir & Marco Buti, 1998. "Economic policy in EMU," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8078, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Thomas Dalsgaard & Alain de Serres, 1999. "Estimating Prudent Budgetary Margins for 11 EU Countries: A Simulated SVAR Model Approach," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 216, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Gennari & Raffaela Giordano & Sandro Momigliano, 2005. "Dealing with Unexpected Shocks to the Budget," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(2), pages 201-201, July.
    2. Rasmus Kattai & Kaie Kerem & Kadrin Keres & Martti Randveer, 2004. "Fiscal Policy as a Determinant of Consumption Expenditure: The Estonian Case," Working Papers 111, Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology.
    3. Jan Veld & Martin Larch & Marieke Vandeweyer, 2013. "Automatic Fiscal Stabilisers: What They Are and What They Do," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 147-163, February.
    4. Barrell, Ray & Pina, Alvaro M., 2004. "How important are automatic stabilisers in Europe? A stochastic simulation assessment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-35, January.
    5. Matti Virén, 2005. "Government size and output volatility: is there a relationship?," Macroeconomics 0508025, EconWPA.
    6. Kibambe Jacques Ngoie & Niek Schoeman, 2009. "Modelling the Impact of Automatic Fiscal Stabilisers on Output Stabilisation in South Africa," Working Papers 129, Economic Research Southern Africa.

    More about this item


    Automatic stabilizers; Stability and Growth Pact; fiscal targets; public investment.;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems

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