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Jürgen von Hagen

16 February 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 307
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Abstract
We analyse the performance of budgetary and growth forecasts of all stability and convergence programmes submitted by EU member states over the last decade. Differences emerge for the bias in budgetary projections across countries. As a second step we explore whether economic, political and institutional factors can explain this pattern. Our analysis indicates that the cyclical position and the form of fiscal governance are major determinants of forecast biases. Projected changes in the budgetary position are mainly affected by the cycle, the need of convergence before EMU and by electoral cycles.
JEL Code
C53 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Forecasting and Prediction Methods, Simulation Methods
E17 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General Aggregative Models→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
H62 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Deficit, Surplus
22 June 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 369
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Abstract
This paper provides a study of bond yield differentials among EU eurobonds issued between 1991 and 2002. Interest differentials between bonds issued by EU countries and Germany or the USA contain risk premia which increase with the debt, deficit and debt-service ratio and depend positively on the issuer's relative bond market size. Global investors' attitude towards credit risk, measured as the yield spread between low grade US corporate bonds and government bonds, also affects bond yield spreads between EU countries and Germany/USA. The start of the European Monetary Union had significant effects on the bond pricing of the member states.
JEL Code
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
1 December 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 419
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Abstract
This paper examines the development of fiscal rules and budget procedures in EU countries, and their impact of public finances since the mid-1980s. It presents a new data set on institutional reforms and their impact in Europe. Empirical pattern confirm our prediction that more stringent fiscal rules exist under large coalition governments, while the centralisation of budgetary procedures is the main form of fiscal governance elsewhere. In addition, the centralisation of procedures does not restrain public debt in countries more prone to a rules-based approach, whereas more stringent fiscal rules seem to support fiscal discipline in almost all EU countries.
JEL Code
H11 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H61 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Budget, Budget Systems
H62 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Deficit, Surplus
31 March 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 879
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Abstract
This paper focuses on risk premiums paid by central governments in Europe and sub-national governments in Germany, Spain, and Canada. With regard to the European governments, we are interested in how these premiums were affected by the introduction of the euro. Using data for bond yield spreads relative to an appropriate benchmark, for the period 1991-2005, we find that risk premiums incurred by central governments of EU member states respond positively to central government debts and deficits. This is consistent with the notion of market-imposed fiscal discipline. We find that German states and, among them, especially those usually receiving transfers under the German fiscal equalization system, enjoyed a very favourable position in the financial markets before EMU as their risk premiums did not respond to fiscal balances. This special status seems to have disappeared with start of EMU. Monetary union, therefore, imposes more fiscal discipline on German states. In contrast, Spanish provinces paid risk premiums related to their fiscal balances both before and after the start of EMU. Both German and Spanish sub-central governments paid fixed interest rate premiums over their national governments which became smaller after the introduction of the euro and are more likely to be interpreted as liquidity premiums. We also estimate empirical models of risk premiums for Canadian provinces for which we find financial market penalties of adverse fiscal balances and debt indicators. However, as in the case of Germany before EMU, those provinces that typically receive transfers under the Canadian fiscal equalization scheme have a more favourable bond market treatment than others. The evidence of market discipline at work in European government bond markets supports the notion that the no-bailout clause in the EU Treaty is credible.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
H74 : Public Economics→State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations→State and Local Borrowing
23 February 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1152
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Abstract
This note looks at US$ and DM/Euro denominated government bond spreads relative to US and German benchmark bonds before and after the start of the current financial crisis. The study finds, first, that bond yield spreads before and during the crisis can largely be explained on the basis of economic principles. Second, markets penalise fiscal imbalances much more strongly after the Lehman default in September 2008 than before. There is also a significant increase in the spread on non-benchmark bonds due to higher general risk aversion, and German bonds obtained a safe-haven investment status similar to that of the US which they did not have before the crisis. These findings underpin the need for achieving sound fiscal positions in good times and complying with the Stability and Growth Pact.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
H74 : Public Economics→State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations→State and Local Borrowing