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Sebastian Hauptmeier

Economics

Division

Fiscal Policies

Current Position

Lead Economist

Fields of interest

Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics,Public Economics

Email

sebastian.hauptmeier@ecb.europa.eu

Education
2009

PhD in Economics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

1998-2003

Master in Economics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

Professional experience
2020

Principal Economist, Fiscal Policies Division, Directorate General Economics, European Central Bank

2015-2019

Senior Economist, Fiscal Policies Division, Directorate General Economics, European Central Bank

2013-2015

Senior Economist, Chief Economic Analyst Team, DG ECFIN, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium

2012-2013

Senior Economist, Fiscal Policy Strategy Division, Department I, German Federal Ministry of Finance, Berlin, Germany

2007-2012

Economist, Fiscal Policies Division, Directorate General Economics, European Central Bank

2004-2007

Research Fellow, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, Germany

21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 273
Details
Abstract
The last review of the ECB’s monetary policy strategy in 2003 followed a period of predominantly upside risks to price stability. Experience following the 2008 financial crisis has focused renewed attention on the question of how monetary and fiscal policy should best interact, in particular in an environment of structurally low interest rates and persistent downside risks to price stability. This debate has been further intensified by the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the euro area, the unique architecture of a monetary union consisting of sovereign Member States, with cross-country heterogeneities and weaknesses in its overall construction, poses important challenges. Against this background, this report revisits monetary-fiscal policy interactions in the euro area from a monetary policy perspective and with a focus on the ramifications for price stability and maintaining central bank independence and credibility. The report consists of three parts. The first chapter presents a conceptual framework for thinking about monetary-fiscal policy interactions, thereby setting the stage for a discussion of specifically euro area aspects and challenges in subsequent parts of the report. In particular, it reviews the main ingredients of the pre-global financial crisis consensus on monetary-fiscal policy interactions and addresses significant new insights and refinements which have gained prominence since 2003. In doing so, the chapter distinguishes between general conceptual aspects – i.e. those aspects that pertain to an environment characterised by a single central bank and a single fiscal authority and those aspects that pertain to an environment characterised by a single central bank and many fiscal authorities (a multi-country monetary union). ...
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
F45 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
24 June 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 4, 2021
Details
Abstract
This box examines the fiscal policy developments outlined in the 2021 stability programmes.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H6 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
28 January 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 255
Details
Abstract
In response to the economic fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the European Council agreed on the Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument. NGEU allows the European Commission to issue debt to finance grants and loans to EU Member States, with the disbursement of funds intended to be weighted towards the countries most affected by the crisis. This paper assesses the macroeconomic impact on the euro area of different uses of NGEU, using a large dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model of the euro area and global economy (EAGLE) that has been adapted to reflect the modalities of the NGEU instrument. Three uses of NGEU loans and grants are explored: (i) productive public investment, (ii) unproductive government spending, and (iii) replacing or repaying existing sovereign debt. The EAGLE results are cross-checked with a semi-structural model (ECB-BASE) and with the basic model elasticities (BMEs) of the forecasting models in use in the national central banks of the Eurosystem.
JEL Code
C54 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Quantitative Policy Modeling
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E65 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
F54 : International Economics→International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy→Colonialism, Imperialism, Postcolonialism
F47 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
7 January 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 8, 2020
Details
Abstract
This box examines the fiscal policy recommendations addressed to the euro area countries against the background of the COVID-19 crisis.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H6 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
23 September 2020
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 6, 2020
Details
Abstract
The EU’s recovery package represents an important milestone in European economic policy integration. The European financial support to be provided is intended to have a meaningful volume in macroeconomic terms, totalling almost 5% of euro area GDP. Moreover, the allocation key ensures stronger macroeconomic support for more vulnerable countries. This coordinated European policy response to COVID-19 is essential to avoid an uneven recovery and economic fragmentation while promoting economic resilience in Member States. Finally, the way that the EU has responded to the crisis also has implications for the implementation and future design of the European governance framework.
JEL Code
F45 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H12 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Crisis Management
25 June 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2428
Details
Abstract
In this paper we use a medium-scale DSGE model to quantitatively assess the macroeconomic stabilisation properties of a supranational unemployment insurance scheme. The model is calibrated to the euro area's core and periphery and features a rich fiscal sector, sovereign risk premia and labour market frictions. Adopting both simple policy rules and optimal policies, our simulations point to enhanced business cycle synchronisation and interregional consumption smoothing. Depending on the exact specification, the results suggest a reduction in the volatility of consumption by up to 49% at the region-level, while the cross-regional correlation of unemployment and inflation increases by up to 52% and 27%, respectively, compared to the decentralised setting. The higher degree of inter-regional risk-sharing comes at the cost of sizable fiscal transfers. Limiting such transfers via claw-back mechanisms implies a much weaker degree of stabilisation across countries.
JEL Code
F45 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
18 June 2020
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 4, 2020
Details
Abstract
This box examines fiscal measures taken at the level of euro area countries and the EU in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H6 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
8 April 2020
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 239
Details
Abstract
After the financial and economic crisis in Europe, a broad consensus has emerged that a stronger fiscal dimension may be needed to complete the architecture of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This paper analyses the performance of interregional transfers in existing fiscal-federal systems, notably in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the United States, and aims to draw lessons for the design of a euro area fiscal instrument. The empirical risk-sharing analysis in this paper suggests that effective cross-regional stabilisation of asymmetric shocks tends to work via direct cash transfers to households, such as unemployment benefits, which are financed out of cyclical central government taxes and social security contributions. This would suggest that a euro area budgetary instrument for stabilisation should be designed as a tool that enhances the automatic stabilisation capacity in the single currency area. At the same time, it seems important that a prospective central stabilisation instrument for the euro area would be integrated in an overall fiscal policy framework that ensures proper incentives for national policymakers.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H11 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H77 : Public Economics→State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations→Intergovernmental Relations, Federalism, Secession
30 March 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2385
Details
Abstract
We study the impact of monetary policy on regional inequality using granular data on economic activity at the city- and county-level in Europe. We document pronounced heterogeneity in the regional patterns of monetary policy transmission. The output response to monetary policy shocks is stronger and more persistent in poorer regions, with the difference becoming particularly pronounced in the extreme tails of the distribution. Regions in the lower parts of the distribution exhibit hysteresis, consisting of long-lived adjustments in employment and labor productivity in response to the shocks. As a consequence, policy tightening aggravates regional inequality and policy easing mitigates it.
JEL Code
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
23 March 2020
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 2, 2020
Details
Abstract
This article provides a comprehensive overview of progress with the deepening of Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The start of a new legislative period for the European Union (2019-24) is a natural and opportune moment to take stock of progress towards completion of the architecture of EMU. The agenda that was proposed in the 2015 Five Presidents’ Report has yet to be fully implemented, with outstanding measures in the financial, fiscal, economic and political domains. This article surveys those various domains, looking at the elements that have been completed, those that are still ongoing, and those that are desirable but not yet under way. It then identifies priorities in terms of completing the banking union, deepening the integration of Europe’s capital markets, improving the euro area’s fiscal architecture and increasing the resilience of national economic structures.
JEL Code
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
F55 : International Economics→International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy→International Institutional Arrangements
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
4 March 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2379
Details
Abstract
This paper is linked to two debates on fiscal policies: first, the implications of low interest-growth differentials for debt sustainability and, second, the reform of the EU fiscal governance framework. In both debates the choice of government debt anchor and the speed of adjustment take centre stage. The Stability and Growth Pact's debt rule appears predestined to fulfil the role of debt anchor. However, our analysis shows that its existing design gives rise to a pro-cyclical bias that has hampered its implementation in the low-growth low-inflation environment. We propose two parametric changes to better balance the objectives of macroeconomic stabilisation and debt sustainability: first, accounting for persistent deviations of inflation from the central bank's objective; and, second, a reduced speed of adjustment. Putting a reformed debt rule at the centre of the EU fiscal governance framework would allow reducing the latter's complexity without the need to revise the EU Treaties.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
H61 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Budget, Budget Systems
H62 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Deficit, Surplus
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
H87 : Public Economics→Miscellaneous Issues→International Fiscal Issues, International Public Goods
27 December 2019
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 8, 2019
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Abstract
This box informs about the review of draft budgetary plans for 2020 and derives some implications for a reform of fiscal governance. To this end, it also identifies weaknesses in the review exercise notably with respect to the follow-up of recommendations by the Council that the budgetary plans are supposed to entail. It would be important that such shortcomings be addressed, inter alia, in the Commission’s forthcoming review of the “six-pack” and “two-pack” regulations, which were implemented in 2011 and 2013 respectively, in the aim of strengthening fiscal governance.
JEL Code
H11 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H50 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→General
H6 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
8 August 2019
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 5, 2019
Details
Abstract
This box examines the fiscal policy recommendations addressed to the euro area countries against the background of downside risks to the outlook for a continued economic expansion. The examination shows that in countries with high levels of government debt, building buffers to strengthen resilience in cyclical downturns remains a priority for fiscal policies. At the same time, countries that have achieved sound fiscal positions could utilise some fiscal space for measures to support economic growth.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H6 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
27 December 2018
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 8, 2018
Details
Abstract
On 21 November 2018 the European Commission released its opinions on the draft budgetary plans (DBPs) of euro area governments for 2019, together with an analysis of the budgetary situation in the euro area as a whole. Each opinion includes an assessment of the compliance of the relevant plan with the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). This exercise is important as it assesses whether countries have incorporated into their plans the country-specific recommendations for fiscal policies that were addressed to them under the 2018 European Semester, as adopted by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 13 July 2018. These recommendations propose, among other things, that countries with high ratios of government debt to GDP aim for a sufficiently fast reduction in indebtedness. This would raise their resilience in a future economic downturn.
JEL Code
H60 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→General
H68 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt
28 June 2018
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 4, 2018
Details
Abstract
On 23 May the European Commission issued its 2018 European Semester Spring Package of policy recommendations for Member States. The package includes country-specific recommendations (CSRs) for economic and fiscal policies for all EU Member States. It also covers recommendations regarding the implementation of the European Union's Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) for a number of countries. With regard to fiscal policies, the recommendations focus in particular on Member States' compliance with the SGP on the basis of the Commission's 2018 spring forecast and the Commission's assessment of countries' policy plans as reflected in the updates of the stability and convergence programmes released in April. This year's European Semester exercise is important particularly with a view to avoiding any repetition of mistakes made prior to the financial crisis when sufficient fiscal buffers were not built up in economic good times and the ensuing recession was aggravated by the sudden necessity of pro-cyclical fiscal tightening. Against this background, this box examines the fiscal policy recommendations that are addressed to 18 euro area countries (i.e. excluding Greece).
JEL Code
H60 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→General
H68 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt
10 May 2018
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 3, 2018
Details
Abstract
This article discusses the concept of risk sharing, which generally refers to the notion that economic agents, such as households and firms, attempt to insure their consumption streams against fluctuations in the business cycle of their country, i.e. they try to “smooth out” changes in their consumption resulting from economic shocks. The article then considers what proportion of an economic shock in the euro area can be smoothed, and compares this with the situation in the United States. While a comparison of the degree of risk sharing between the euro area and the United States needs to be seen against the background of different institutional and political architectures, it nevertheless offers potentially interesting economic insights. The article shows that, while in the euro area around 80% of a shock to GDP growth in a given country remained unsmoothed over the period 1999-2016, thus resulting in sizeable differences in consumption growth across countries, in the United States at most 40% of a shock to state-specific GDP was unsmoothed over the same period. The article also evaluates the relative importance of the main risk sharing channels, i.e. the credit, capital and fiscal channels, as well as the role of European institutions. It shows that, in the euro area, risk sharing takes place mainly via the capital channel, i.e. through cross-border holdings of financial assets. Finally, the article puts the empirical results into the perspective of the ongoing debate on enhancing the institutional architecture of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). It calls for euro area countries to make their economies, banking sectors and public finances less vulnerable to macroeconomic shocks. The article explains how efficient and integrated financial markets are a core prerequisite for effective private risk sharing in the euro area. It also shows how the euro area would benefit from a central fiscal stabilisation function to support national economic stabilisers in the presence of large economic shocks and thereby make EMU more resilient.
JEL Code
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
28 December 2017
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 8, 2017
11 February 2013
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1511
Details
Abstract
We empirically investigate the effects of fiscal policy on bank balance sheets, focusing on episodes of fiscal consolidation. To this aim, we employ a very large data set of individual banks' balance sheets, combined with a newly compiled data set on fiscal consolidations. We find that standard capital adequacy ratios such as the Tier-1 ratio tend to improve following episodes of fiscal consolidation. Our results suggest that this improvement results from a portfolio re-balancing from private to public debt securities which reduces the risk-weighted value of assets. In fact, if fiscal adjustment efforts are perceived as structural policy changes that improve the sustainability of public finances and, therefore, reduces credit risk, the banks' demand for government securities should increases relative to other assets.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
H30 : Public Economics→Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents→General
12 July 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1361
Details
Abstract
This paper investigates how expectations about future government spending affect the transmission of fiscal policy shocks. We study the effects of two different types of government spending shocks in the United States: (i) spending shocks that are accompanied by an expected reversal of public spending growth below trend; (ii) spending shocks that are accompanied by expectations of future spending growth above trend. We use the Ramey (2011)’s time series of military build-ups to measure exogenous spending shocks, and deviations of forecasts of public spending with respect to past trends, evaluated in real-time, to distinguish shocks into these two categories. Based on a structural VAR analysis, our results suggest that shocks associated with an expected spending reversal exert expansionary effects on the economy and accelerate the correction of the initial increase in public debt. Shocks associated with expected spending growth above trend, instead, are characterized by a contraction in aggregate demand and a more persistent increase in public debt. The main channel of transmission seems to run through agents’ perception of the future macroeconomic environment.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E65 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
H20 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue→General
16 November 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1266
Details
Abstract
The study looks at primary expenditure developments in the euro area, its three largest members and four “macro-imbalances” countries for the period 1999-2009. It compares actual expenditure trends with those that would have prevailed if countries had followed neutral policies based on expenditure rules since the start of EMU. It also calculates the implications for debt trends. It finds that, all sample countries except Germany applied expansionary expenditure policies. This resulted in much higher expenditure and debt paths compared to a counterfactual neutral expenditure stance. Simple and prudent rules-based spending policies could have led to much safer fiscal positions much more in line with the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact rules.
JEL Code
E17 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General Aggregative Models→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
E65 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
H50 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→General
H60 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→General
16 July 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1219
Details
Abstract
This paper provides new evidence on the effects of government spending shocks and the fiscal transmission mechanism in the euro area for the period 1980-2008. Our contribution is two-fold. First, we investigate changes in the macroeconomic impact of government spending shocks using time-varying structural VAR techniques. The results show that the short-run effectiveness of government spending in stabilizing real GDP and private consumption has increased until the end-1980s but it has decreased thereafter. Moreover, government spending multipliers at longer horizons have declined substantially over the sample period. We also observe a weaker response of real wages and a stronger response of the nominal interest rate to spending shocks. Second, we provide econometric evidence on the driving forces behind the observed time variation of spending multipliers. We find that a higher ratio of credit to households over GDP, a smaller share of government investment and a larger share of public wages over total government spending have led to decreasing contemporaneous multipliers. At the same time, our results indicate that higher government debt-to-GDP ratios have negatively affected long-term multipliers.
JEL Code
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H30 : Public Economics→Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents→General
H50 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→General
14 April 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1169
Details
Abstract
We study the impact of numerical expenditure rules on the propensity of governments to deviate from expenditure targets in response to surprises in cyclical conditions. Theoretical considerations suggest that due to political fragmentation in the budgetary process expenditure policy might be prone to a pro-cyclical bias. However, this tendency may be mitigated by numerical expenditure rules. These hypotheses are tested against data from a panel of EU Member States. Our key findings are that (i) deviations between actual and planned government expenditure are positively related to unanticipated changes in the output gap, and (ii) numerical expenditure rules reduce this pro-cyclical bias. Moreover, the pro-cyclical spending bias is found to be particularly pronounced for spending items with a high degree of budgetary flexibility.
JEL Code
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H50 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→General
13 May 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1054
Details
Abstract
We assess the fiscal behaviour in the European Union countries for the period 1990-2005 via the responsiveness of budget balances to several determinants. The results show that the existence of effective fiscal rules, the degree of public spending decentralization, and the electoral cycle can impinge on the country's fiscal position. Furthermore, the results also support the responsiveness of primary balances to government indebtedness.
JEL Code
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
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
19 March 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1033
Details
Abstract
We set up a model to characterize the reaction functions of governments competing for mobile capital by simultaneously setting both the business tax rate as well as the level of provision of a productive public input. Using a rich data set of local jurisdictions, we then test the predictions of the model with respect to the nature of strategic interaction among governments. Our findings from efficient estimation of a system of spatially interrelated equations for both policy instruments support the notion that local governments use both the business tax rate and public inputs to compete for capital. In particular, we find that if neighbors cut their tax rates, governments try to restore competitiveness by lowering their own tax and increasing spending on public inputs. If neighbors provide more infra-structure, governments react by increasing their own spending on public inputs.
JEL Code
H72 : Public Economics→State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations→State and Local Budget and Expenditures
H77 : Public Economics→State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations→Intergovernmental Relations, Federalism, Secession
C72 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Game Theory and Bargaining Theory→Noncooperative Games
26 May 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 634
Details
Abstract
This study examines reforms of public expenditure in industrialised countries over the past two decades. We distinguish ambitious and timid reformers and analyse in detail reform experiences in eight case studies of ambitious reform episodes. We find that ambitious reform countries reduce spending on transfers, subsidies and public consumption while largely sparing education spending. Such expenditure retrenchment is also typically part of a comprehensive reform package that includes improvements in fiscal institutions as well as structural and other macroeconomic reforms. The study finds that ambitious expenditure retrenchment and reform coincides with large improvements in fiscal and economic growth indicators.
JEL Code
H5 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
H6 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
O57 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Comparative Studies of Countries
2014
Journal of International Money and Finance
  • Cimadomo, J., Hauptmeier, S. and Zimmermann, T.
2012
Applied Economics
  • Hauptmeier, S., Holm-Hadulla, F. and Rother, P.
2012
Regional Science and Urban Economics
  • Hauptmeier, S., Mittermaier, F. and Rincke, J.
2011
Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics
  • Buettner, T., Schwager, R. and Hauptmeier, S.
2011
Journal of Policy Modeling
  • Hauptmeier, S., Sanchez-Fuentes, A. J. and Schuknecht, L.
2007
Fiscal Studies
  • Hauptmeier, S., Heipertz, M. and Schuknecht, L.
2020
Intereconomics
  • Hauptmeier, S. and Leiner-Killinger, N.
2017
Intereconomics
  • Cimadomo, J., Hauptmeier, S., Kamps, C. and Leiner-Killinger, N.
2009
ZEW Economic Studies
  • Hauptmeier, S., Heinemann, F., Kappler, M., Kraus, M., Schrimpf, A., Trautwein, H.-M., Wang, Q.