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Fiscal Sustainability of the European Welfare State: Evidence from Cumulative Excess of the Primary Balance

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  • Stoian, Andreea

    () (Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies)

Abstract

Tanzi and Schuknecht (1997) pointed out that one of the key features of welfare state is to run large fiscal deficits and public debt. This can be explained considering the rise of the social transfers that led to an overall increase of the total government spending. Growing public debt can generate fiscal sustainability issues in the long run. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to study fiscal sustainability using an indicator named the Cumulative Excess of the Primary Balance (CEPB) that avoids the shortcomings induced by non-stationary time series or Structural breaks when applying classical econometric tools. CEPB is derived from a simple Dynamic model of public debt that allows estimating the primary balance that stabilizes public debt. Applying CEPB for annual data extracted for 1980-2007 period for two distinct European welfare regimes, we find that the Nordic welfare states are less exposed to fiscal Sustainability issues in the long run than the Conservative countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Stoian, Andreea, 2012. "Fiscal Sustainability of the European Welfare State: Evidence from Cumulative Excess of the Primary Balance," Working Papers 27/2012, Universidade Portucalense, Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia (CIGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:cigewp:2012_027
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina, 2000. "The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 3-19, Summer.
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    3. Barr, Nicholas, 1992. "Economic Theory and the Welfare State: A Survey and Interpretation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 741-803, June.
    4. Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1990. "Suggestions for a New Set of Fiscal Indicators," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 79, OECD Publishing.
    5. Henning Bohn, 2005. "The Sustainability of Fiscal Policy in the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 1446, CESifo Group Munich.
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    7. Uctum, Merih & Wickens, Michael, 2000. " Debt and Deficit Ceilings, and Sustainability of Fiscal Policies: An Intertemporal Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(2), pages 197-222, May.
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    10. Trehan, Bharat & Walsh, Carl E, 1991. "Testing Intertemporal Budget Constraints: Theory and Applications to U.S. Federal Budget and Current Account Deficits," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 206-223, May.
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    12. Alfred Greiner & Uwe Koeller & Willi Semmler, 2005. "Testing Sustainability of German Fiscal Policy. Evidence for the Period 1960 – 2003," CESifo Working Paper Series 1386, CESifo Group Munich.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal sustainability; budgetary deficit; primary balance; public debt; welfare state;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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