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Do we need fiscal rules ?

Author

Listed:
  • Catherine Mathieu

    (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)

  • Henri Sterdyniak

    (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)

Abstract

The public finances crisis has brought binding fiscal rules proposals back to the forefront. The paper analyses their justifications and specifications, either in a classical or in a Keynesian framework. In the recent period there is no evidence that public deficits were caused by fiscal indiscipline and induced too high interest rates; there is no evidence that economically relevant rules can be designed. The paper provides an analysis of fiscal rules implemented either at country level (like the UK golden rule), or at the EU level (the Stability and Growth Pact). The paper shows that fiscal rules did not work before and during the crisis. The paper discusses the EU project, the “Fiscal Pact”, which risks to paralyse fiscal policies and to prevent economic stabilisation. The priority today is not to strengthen public finance discipline but to question economic developments which make public deficits necessary to support output.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2013. "Do we need fiscal rules ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7d, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9lip1oi0sn
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2003. "Réformer le pacte de stabilité : l'état du débat," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 84(1), pages 145-179.
    2. Hasan Doluca & Malte Hübner & Dominik Rumpf & Benjamin Weigert, 2013. "The European Redemption Pact. An illustrative guide," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 341-367.
    3. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2009. "La globalisation financière en crise," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 13-73.
    4. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
    5. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2011. "Finances publiques, sorties de crise..," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 17-60.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
    7. Ludger Schuknecht, 2002. "The Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 1(3), pages 81-116.
    8. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
    9. Fabrice Capoen & Henri Sterdyniak & Pierre Villa, 1994. "Indépendance des banques centrales, politiques monétaire et budgétaire : une approche stratégique," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 50(1), pages 65-102.
    10. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12010 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Simon Wren-Lewis, 2011. "Lessons From Failure: Fiscal Policy, Indulgence And Ideology," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 217(1), pages 31-46, July.
    12. Charles Wyplosz, 2011. "Fiscal Discipline: Rules Rather Than Institutions," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 217(1), pages 19-30, July.
    13. Eisner, Robert, 1989. "Budget Deficits: Rhetoric and Reality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 73-93, Spring.
    14. Pablo Hernández de Cos, 2011. "The reform of the fiscal framework in Spain: constitutional limits and the new public spending growth rule," Economic Bulletin, Banco de España;Economic Bulletin Homepage, issue OCT, October.
    15. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2011. "Finances publiques, sorties de crise…," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5l6uh8ogmqi, Sciences Po.
    16. Allen Schick, 2010. "Post-Crisis Fiscal Rules: Stabilising Public Finance while Responding to Economic Aftershocks," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 1-18.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Blot & Marion Cochard & Jérôme Creel & Bruno Ducoudré & Danielle Schweisguth & Xavier Timbeau, 2014. "Is There an Alternative Strategy for Reducing Public Debt by 2032?," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(1), pages 39-57, Februar.
    2. IMK Düsseldorf & OFCE Paris & WIFO Wien, 2013. "Crisis continues to smoulder," IMK Report 80e-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    3. IMK Düsseldorf & OFCE Paris & WIFO Wien, 2013. "Die Krise schwelt weiter," IMK Report 80-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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