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The Impact of the European Union Fiscal Rules on Economic Growth

This study intends to provide an empirical answer to the question of whether Maastricht and SGP fiscal rules have affected growth of European Union countries. A growth equation augment with fiscal variables and controlling for the period in which fiscal rules were implemented in Europe is estimated over a panel of 15 EU countries (and 8 OECD countries) for the period 1970-2005 with the purpose of answering this question. The equation is estimated using both a dynamic fixed effects estimator and a recently developed pooled mean group estimator. GMM estimators are also used in a robustness analysis. Empirical results show that growth of real GDP per capita in the EU was not negatively affected in the period after Maastricht. This is the case when the recent performance of EU countries is compared both with their past performance and with the performance of other developed countries. Results even show that growth is slightly higher in the period in which the fulfilment of the 3% criteria for the deficit started to be officially assessed. Therefore, this study concludes that the institutional changes that occurred in Europe after 1992, especially the implementation of Maastricht and Stability and Growth Pact fiscal rules, should not be blamed for being harmful to growth in Europe.

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File URL: http://www3.eeg.uminho.pt/economia/nipe/docs/2007/NIPE_WP_10_2007.PDF
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Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 10/2007.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:10/2007
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Núcleo de Investigação em Políticas Económicas, Escola de Economia e Gestão, Universidade do Minho, P-4710-057 Braga, Portugal

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  1. Arestis, Philip & McCauley, Kevin & Sawyer, Malcolm, 2001. "An Alternative Stability Pact for the European Union," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 113-30, January.
  2. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
  3. Michael J. Artis, Luca Onorante, 2006. "The Economic Importance of Fiscal Rules," Economics Working Papers ECO2006/14, European University Institute.
  4. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Doménech, 2006. "Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, 03.
  5. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2004. "Improving the SGP Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  7. von Hagen, Jürgen, 2003. "Fiscal discipline and growth in Euroland: Experiences with the stability and growth pact," ZEI Working Papers B 06-2003, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
  8. Andrea Bassanini & Stefano Scarpetta, 2001. "The Driving Forces of Economic Growth: Panel Data Evidence for the OECD Countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(2), pages 9-56.
  9. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  10. Bond, Stephen Roy & Hoeffler, Anke & Temple, Jonathan, 2001. "GMM Estimation of Empirical Growth Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 3048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Peter Pedroni, 1999. "Critical Values for Cointegration Tests in Heterogeneous Panels with Multiple Regressors," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  12. Castro, Vítor, 2007. "The Impact Of The European Union Fiscal Rules On Economic Growth," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 794, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  13. Roberto Cellini, 1997. "Growth empirics: evidence from a panel of annual data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(6), pages 347-351.
  14. S. Ederveen & H.L.F. de Groot & R. Nahuis, 2003. "Fertile Soil for Structural Funds? A panel data analysis of the conditional effectiveness of European cohesion policy," Working Papers 03-14, Utrecht School of Economics.
  15. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2005. "European Monetary Union: nominal convergence, real divergence and slow growth?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 7-33, March.
  17. Valila, Timo & Mehrotra, Aaron, 2005. "Evolution And Determinants Of Public Investment In Europe," Economic and Financial Reports 2005/1, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  18. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
  19. Charles Wyplosz, 2006. "European Monetary Union: the dark sides of a major success," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(46), pages 207-261, 04.
  20. repec:kap:iaecre:v:11:y:2005:i:1:p:29-38 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Soukiazis, Elias & Castro, Vitor, 2005. "How the Maastricht criteria and the Stability and Growth Pact affected real convergence in the European Union: A panel data analysis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 385-399, April.
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