Does the Quality of Fiscal Institutions Matter for Fiscal Performance? A Panel Data Analysis of European Countries

  •  Mitsi Dimitra    


The last decade, the number of fiscal frameworks such as national fiscal rules and independent fiscal councils have increased, significantly as a consequence of fiscal indiscipline in many European Countries. In the wake of economic crisis in 2007, fiscal laxity and unsustainable public finances made the European Union to strengthen its fiscal policy in many ways in order to create an economic environment of macroeconomic stability and sustainable growth. This paper investigates the role of fiscal frameworks (fiscal rules and fiscal councils) on fiscal performance as well as the impact of other types of institutions, namely Worldwide Governance Indicators on primary balance. The empirical analysis builds on a reaction function proposed by Bohn (1998) while the estimation method builds on a fixed effect panel data estimation and a dynamic panel data estimation of Arellano-Bover and Blundell-Bond. Our main results provide that political stability, government effectiveness, fiscal rules and fiscal councils play an important role for improving fiscal performance. However, the effect of fiscal institutions on primary balance changes among different types of fiscal rules (debt rules, expenditure rules and budget balanced rules) and independent fiscal councils or fiscal councils that have access to information, respectively.

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