IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/oec/ecoaaa/351-en.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Discretionary Fiscal Policy and Elections: The Experience of the Early Years of EMU

Author

Listed:
  • Marco Buti
  • Paul van den Noord

Abstract

An early criticism of the Stability and Growth Pact has pointed to its asymmetric nature and the weak mechanisms to prevent politically-motivated fiscal policies: its constraints would bite in downswings but not in upswings, especially if in the latter the electoral cycle increases the temptation to run expansionary policies. We find that the experience of the initial years of EMU lends support to this criticism. Overall, unlike the experience in the run-up to EMU, fiscal policies had an expansionary bias, and a “genuine” discretionary boost took place in correspondence to political elections. Both sign and composition of such discretionary changes are in line with the predictions of the recent literature on electoral budget cycles. Closer fiscal surveillance may help detect early such behaviour, but it is unlikely to curb the incentives to run politically-motivated fiscal policies when elections approach ... Politique budgétaire discrétionnaire et élections : L'expérience des premières années de l'UEM D’emblée, le pacte de stabilité et de croissance a été critiqué pour son caractère asymétrique et la faiblesse de ses mécanismes destinés à empêcher les mesures budgétaires à finalité politique : ses contraintes seraient efficaces en période de ralentissement économique, mais pas en période d’accélération, surtout lorsque, dans ce dernier cas, le cycle électoral accroît la tentation d’une politique expansionniste. Notre constat est le suivant : l’expérience des premières années de l’UEM confirme ces critiques. Au total, contrairement à ce qu’on a pu observer durant les années qui ont précédé l’UEM, les politiques budgétaires ont connu un biais expansionniste et il y a eu véritablement expansion budgétaire parallèlement aux élections politiques. Ces changements discrétionnaires sont conformes tant en ce qui concerne leur signe que leur composition à ce que pouvaient laisser prévoir les ouvrages récents consacrés au cycle électoral des budgets. Une surveillance budgétaire plus ...

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Buti & Paul van den Noord, 2003. "Discretionary Fiscal Policy and Elections: The Experience of the Early Years of EMU," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 351, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:351-en
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/378575422756
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta & Olivier Boylaud, 2000. "Summary Indicators of Product Market Regulation with an Extension to Employment Protection Legislation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 226, OECD Publishing.
    3. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
    4. Nalebuff, Barry J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1983. "Information, Competition, and Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 278-283, May.
    5. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    6. Jan Boone, 2000. "Competitive Pressure: The Effects on Investments in Product and Process Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 549-569, Autumn.
    7. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Productivity across Industries and Countries: Time Series Theory and Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 135-146, February.
    8. Richard Disney & Jonathan Haskel & Ylva Heden, 2003. "Restructuring and productivity growth in uk manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 666-694, July.
    9. Meyer, Margaret A & Vickers, John, 1997. "Performance Comparisons and Dynamic Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 547-581, June.
    10. MacDonald, James M, 1994. "Does Import Competition Force Efficient Production?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 721-727, November.
    11. Andrea Bassanini & Ekkehard Ernst, 2002. "Labour Market Institutions, Product Market Regulation, and Innovation: Cross-Country Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 316, OECD Publishing.
    12. Ng, Charles K & Seabright, Paul, 2001. "Competition, Privatisation and Productive Efficiency: Evidence from the Airline Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 591-619, July.
    13. Green, Alison & Mayes, David, 1991. "Technical Inefficiency in Manufacturing Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 523-538, May.
    14. Estrin, Saul & Perotin, Virginie, 1991. "Does ownership always matter?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 55-72, March.
    15. David Blanchflower & Stephen Machin, 1996. "Product Market Competition Wages and Productivity: International Evidence from Establishment-Level Data," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 41-42, pages 219-253.
    16. Yin-Wong Cheung & Antonio Garcia Pascual, 2004. "Market Structure, Technology Spillovers, and Persistence in Productivity Differentials," The International Journal of Applied Economics, Department of General Business, Southeastern Louisiana University, vol. 1(1), pages 1-23, September.
    17. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Pohl, Gerhard, 1997. "Ownership and corporate governance : evidence from the Czech Republic," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1737, The World Bank.
    18. Hercowitz, Zvi, 1998. "The 'embodiment' controversy: A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 217-224, February.
    19. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    20. Michael Ian Cragg & I.J. Alexander Dyck, 1999. "Management Control and Privatization in the United Kingdom," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 475-497, Autumn.
    21. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
    22. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Productivity and Convergence across U.S. States and Industries," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 113-135.
    23. Rauf Gönenç & Maria Maher & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2003. "The Implementation and the Effects of Regulatory Reform: Past Experience and Current Issues," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(1), pages 11-98.
    24. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 1995. "Dynamic Count Data Models of Technological Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 333-344, March.
    25. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-319, March.
    26. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-746, August.
    27. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Andrea Bassanini & Ekkehard Ernst & Sébastien Jean & Paulo Santiago & Paul Swaim, 2001. "Product and Labour Markets Interactions in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 312, OECD Publishing.
    28. Andrea Bassanini & Stefano Scarpetta, 2002. "Growth, Technological Change, and ICT Diffusion: Recent Evidence from OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 324-344.
    29. Boone, Jan, 2000. "Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    30. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Input, and Productivity Using Superlative Index Numbers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 73-86, March.
    31. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-362, June.
    32. Garcia Pascual, Antonio & Westermann, Frank, 2002. "Productivity Convergence in European Manufacturing," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 313-323, May.
    33. Sébastien Jean & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2004. "Regulation and Wage Premia," Working Papers 2004-12, CEPII research center.
    34. Roman Frydman & Cheryl Gray & Marek Hessel & Andrzej Rapaczynski, 1999. "When Does Privatization Work? The Impact of Private Ownership on Corporate Performance in the Transition Economies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1153-1191.
    35. Eckel, Catherine & Eckel, Doug & Singal, Vijay, 1997. "Privatization and efficiency: Industry effects of the sale of British Airways," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 275-298, February.
    36. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-1238, December.
    37. Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & John van Reenen, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 529-554.
    38. Nickell, Stephen & Nicolitsas, Daphne & Dryden, Neil, 1997. "What makes firms perform well?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 783-796, April.
    39. Morrison, Catherine J, 1992. "Unraveling the Productivity Growth Slowdown in the United States, Canada and Japan: The Effects of Subequilibrium, Scale Economies and Markups," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 381-393, August.
    40. Aghion, Philippe & Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1997. "Competition and growth with step-by-step innovation: An example," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 771-782, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cycle politique; Economic and Monetary Union; elections; fiscal policy; pacte de stabilité et de croissance; political business cycle; politique budgétaire; stability and growth pact; Union économique et monétaire; élections;

    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
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:351-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/edoecfr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.