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The Tyranny of Rules: Fiscal Discipline, Productive Spending, and Growth

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Abstract

The performance of alternative fiscal rules is examined in an endogenous growth model with public capital and debt. In addition to investing in infrastructure, the government spends on maintenance and health. Infrastructure affects the production of both commodities and health services. The performance of a balanced budget rule, as well as standard and modified (including and excluding productive spending) golden rules and primary surplus rules are compared numerically. Under a range of plausible parameter configurations and spending shares, and as long as the debt-related risk premium is not too elastic, a primary surplus rule that excludes productive spending is shown to perform better than alternative rules in response to a variety of shocks. As a practical policy implication, we propose the definition of a transparent Core Productive Expenditure Program.

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  • P R Agénor & D Yilmaz, 2006. "The Tyranny of Rules: Fiscal Discipline, Productive Spending, and Growth," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 73, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:man:cgbcrp:73
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    Cited by:

    1. Groneck, Max, 2010. "A golden rule of public finance or a fixed deficit regime?: Growth and welfare effects of budget rules," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 523-534, March.
    2. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Moreno-Dodson, Blanca, 2006. "Public infrastructure and growth : new channels and policy implications," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4064, The World Bank.
    3. Moreno-Dodson, Blanca, 2008. "Assessing the impact of public spending on growth - an empirical analysis for seven fast growing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4663, The World Bank.
    4. Real Arai, 2011. "Productive Government Expenditure and Fiscal Sustainability," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 67(4), pages 327-351, December.
    5. Ioanna C. Bardakas, 2016. "Structural and cyclical factors of Greece’s current account balances: a note," Working Papers 206, Bank of Greece.
    6. Nicos Christodoulakis & Christos Axioglou, 2016. "Underinvestment and unemployment: the double hazard in the euro area," Working Papers 205, Bank of Greece.
    7. Groneck, Max, 2008. "A Golden Rule of Public Finance or a Fixed Deficit Regime? Growth and Welfare Effects of Budget Rules," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 08-7, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.

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