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Pushing the Limit? Fiscal Policy in the European Monetary Union

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  • Betty Daniel

    (Department of Economics, University at Albany, Albany, New York, US)

  • Christos Shiamptanis

    (Department of Economics, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

Abstract

Governments are facing increasing scrutiny over debt and deficits following the worldwide recession and financial crisis which began in 2007. Additionally, policy makers are confronted with the growing realization that they face fiscal limits on the size of debt and deficits relative to GDP. These fiscal limits invalidate Bohn's criterion for fiscal sustainability since it allows explosive debt relative to GDP, eventually violating any fiscal limit. The purpose of this paper is to derive restrictions on a fiscal rule, necessary for the government to eliminate explosive behavior. We show that the restrictions require that the response of the primary surplus to debt be relatively strong. Additionally, since fiscal limits rule out explosive behavior, they imply cointegration between debt and the primary surplus, and between the primary surplus and output. We test these two empirical implications for a panel of eleven EMU countries, and find that fiscal policy is responsible, in the sense that governments rule out explosive behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Betty Daniel & Christos Shiamptanis, 2012. "Pushing the Limit? Fiscal Policy in the European Monetary Union," Working Papers 033, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rye:wpaper:wp033
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    2. Serhan Cevik & Vibha Nanda, 2020. "Riding the storm: fiscal sustainability in the Caribbean," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 384-399, May.
    3. Betty C. Daniel, Christos Shiamptanis, 2019. "Identifying Countries at Risk of Fiscal Crisis: High-Debt Developed Countries," LCERPA Working Papers bm0125, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis, revised 2021.
    4. Richter, Alexander W., 2015. "Finite lifetimes, long-term debt and the fiscal limit," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 180-203.
    5. Aldama, Pierre & Creel, Jérôme, 2019. "Fiscal policy in the US: Sustainable after all?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 471-479.
    6. Dennis Bonam & Bart Hobijn, 2021. "Generalized Stability of Monetary Unions Under Regime Switching in Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 53(1), pages 73-94, February.
    7. Alloza, Mario & Andrés, Javier & Pérez, Javier J. & Rojas, Juan A., 2020. "Implicit public debt thresholds: An operational proposal," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1408-1424.
    8. Rathnayake, Anuruddhi Shanika K, 2020. "Sustainability of the fiscal imbalance and public debt under fiscal policy asymmetries in Sri Lanka," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    9. Dinca Gheorghita & Dinca Marius Sorin & Popione Catalina, 2016. "Analyzing Fiscal Balance Evolution for Developed and Emerging Countries," Scientific Annals of Economics and Business, Sciendo, vol. 63(3), pages 299-310, November.
    10. Alabi, M. K. & Amirthalingam, K., 2020. "Fiscal Policy and the Business Cycle in the West African Monetary Zone," Working Papers 8, Department of Economics, University of Ilorin.
    11. Piotr Ciżkowicz & Andrzej Rzońca & Rafał Trzeciakowski, 2015. "Windfall of Low Interest Payments and Fiscal Sustainability in the Euro Area: Analysis through Panel Fiscal Reaction Functions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 475-510, November.
    12. Alfons Weichenrieder & Jochen Zimmer, 2014. "Euro membership and fiscal reaction functions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 598-613, August.
    13. R. Golinelli & I. Mammi & A. Musolesi, 2018. "Parameter heterogeneity, persistence and cross-sectional dependence: new insights on fiscal policy reaction functions for the Euro area," Working Papers wp1120, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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    15. Hyejin Ko, 2020. "Measuring fiscal sustainability in the welfare state: fiscal space as fiscal sustainability," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 531-554, May.
    16. Javier Andrés & Javier J. Pérez & Juan A. Rojas, 2017. "Implicit public debt thresholds: an empirical exercise for the case of Spain," Working Papers 1701, Banco de España.
    17. Mackiewicz-Łyziak, Joanna & Łyziak, Tomasz, 2019. "A new test for fiscal sustainability with endogenous sovereign bond yields: Evidence for EU economies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 136-151.
    18. Christos Shiamptanis, 2015. "Risk Assessment Under A Nonlinear Fiscal Policy Rule," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(3), pages 1539-1555, July.
    19. Park, Danbee & Sung, Taeyoon, 2020. "Foreign debt, global liquidity, and fiscal sustainability," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    20. Bi, Huixin & Shen, Wenyi & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2016. "Fiscal limits in developing countries: A DSGE Approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 119-130.
    21. Christos Shiamptanis, 2017. "Austerity Measures: Do they avert solvency crises?," LCERPA Working Papers 0103, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis, revised 19 Jun 2017.
    22. Tamegawa, Kenichi, 2016. "Rating for government debt and economic stability," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 35-44.
    23. Canofari, Paolo & Marini, Giancarlo & Piergallini, Alessandro, 2020. "Financial Crisis and Sustainability of US Fiscal Deficit: Indicators or Tests?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 192-204.
    24. Tomasz Łyziak & Joanna Mackiewicz-Łyziak, 2019. "Sustainability of Public Finances in European Economies: Fiscal Policy Reactions and Market Pricing," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(1), pages 3-19, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    European Monetary Union; monetary policy; fiscal policy; fiscal limits; panel cointegration; error correction;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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