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Automatic Stabilisation, Discretionary Policy and the Stability Pact

Author

Listed:
  • Jérôme Creel

    (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)

  • Francesco Saraceno

    (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)

Abstract

This paper describes recent trends on the efficiency of stabilisers in the European Union. Using both macro evidence on the cyclical sensitivity of budget deficit to economic activity, and micro evidence on the tax and expenditure profiles, we conclude, in agreement with the recent literature, that the importance of automatic stabilisation has decreased. After remarking that this trend is contradictory with the current economic institutions of Europe relying exclusively on automatic stabilisation for the conduct of fiscal policy, we argue that increasing flexibility, one alternative way to reduce cyclical fluctuations, does not seem a viable path. The paper concludes defending the appropriateness of discretionary fiscal policy. We argue by means of a simple model that the theoretical arguments against its use are not conclusive, and we describe a recent stream of literature, based on structural VAR models, that concludes rather robustly for the effectiveness of discretionary fiscal policy in the short and long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Jérôme Creel & Francesco Saraceno, 2008. "Automatic Stabilisation, Discretionary Policy and the Stability Pact," Sciences Po publications 2008-15, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/6152
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Blot & Jérôme Creel & Christine Rifflart & Danielle Schweisguth, 2009. "Petit manuel de stratégies de sortie de crise. Comment rebondir pour éviter l'enlisement ?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 335-381.
    2. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Francesco Saraceno, 2010. "Inequality and macroeconomic performance," Working Papers hal-01069429, HAL.
    3. Jérôme Creel & Paul Hubert & Francesco Saraceno, 2014. "French Public Finances at Risk?," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(1), pages 1-19, Februar.
    4. Malcolm Sawyer, 2011. "Re-thinking Macroeconomic Policies," Chapters,in: Credit, Money and Macroeconomic Policy, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Francesco Saraceno, 2013. "European economic governance: the Berlin–Washington Consensus," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 479-496.
    6. Philip Arestis, 2013. "Economic theory and policy: a coherent post-Keynesian approach," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 243-255.
    7. Jérôme Creel & Éloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2009. "L'Europe en crises," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 445-470.
    8. Jerome Creel & Paul Hubert & Francesco Saraceno, 2012. "An assessment of Stability and Growth Pact Reform Proposals in a Small-Scale Macro Framework," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2012-04, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    9. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Eloi Laurent, 2009. "Macroeconomic and social policies in the EU 15: the last two decades," Sciences Po publications 2009-21, Sciences Po.
    10. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Francesco Saraceno, 2009. "How Deep is a Crisis? Policy Responses and Structural Factors Behind Diverging Performances," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2009-31, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    11. European Commission, 2010. "Tax Policy after the Crisis: Monitoring Tax Revenues and Tax Reforms in EU Member States 2010 Report," Taxation Papers 24, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    12. Creel, Jérôme & Hubert, Paul & Saraceno, Francesco, 2013. "An assessment of the Stability and Growth Pact reform in a small-scale macro-framework," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1567-1580.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt

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