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Fiscal Institutions and Public Spending Volatility in Europe

Listed author(s):
  • Bruno Albuquerque

This work provides empirical evidence for a sizeable, statistically significant negative impact of the quality of fiscal institutions on public spending volatility for a panel of 25 EU countries over the 1980-2007 period. The dependent variable is the volatility of discretionary fiscal policy, which does not represent reactions to changes in economic conditions. Our baseline results thus give support to the strengthening of institutions to deal with excessive levels of discretion volatility, as more checks and balances make it harder for governments to change fiscal policy for reasons unrelated to the current state of the economy. Our results also show that bigger countries and bigger governments have less public spending volatility. In contrast to previous studies, the political factors do not seem to play a role, with the exception of the Herfindahl index, which suggests that high concentration of parliamentary seats in a few parties would increase public spending volatility.

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File URL: https://www.bportugal.pt/sites/default/files/anexos/papers/wp201017.pdf
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Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w201017.

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Date of creation: 2010
Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w201017
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  5. Cândida Ferreira, 2009. "Fiscal Behaviour in the European Union: Rules, Fiscal Decentralization and Government Indebtedness," Working Papers Department of Economics 2009/23, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  6. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Political Institutions and Policy Outcomes: What Are the Stylized Facts?," CESifo Working Paper Series 459, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Charles Wyplosz, 2005. "Fiscal Policy: Institutions versus Rules," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 191(1), pages 64-78, January.
  8. Albuquerque, Bruno, 2011. "Fiscal institutions and public spending volatility in Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2544-2559.
  9. Hallerberg, Mark & Strauch, Rolf & Hagen, Jürgen von, 2006. "The design of fiscal rules and forms of governance in European Union countries," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 150, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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