Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: The Long Run Fiscal Reward of Structural Reforms

32 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2012

See all articles by Peter Hoeller

Peter Hoeller

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Claude Giorno

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Date Written: March 30, 2006

Abstract

The recent reform of the Stability and Growth Pact provides more leeway for EU governments to temporarily breach the 3% deficit limit if this facilitates the implementation of initially expensive reforms. But the implementation of this principle is not obvious as budgets would need to specify the initial and multi-annual budgetary cost and benefit profile of reforms. Budgets should also be explicit about the fiscal cost of inaction to allow a balanced judgment of countries’ trade-offs between the various options available. This paper first assesses the information requirements to implement this new form of flexibility built into the Stability and Growth Pact. It then provides simulation exercises to highlight the positive budgetary effects of coordinated structural reforms in the euro area as well as the need for an adequate monetary policy response to make sure that demand adjusts to the improved supply conditions swiftly. The budgetary gains would still depend on the type of reform and their impact on employment and productivity. On the other hand, national policy initiatives by a single country may only have a limited impact, especially in the short term and in the case of a large country. Indeed, in monetary union, the strength of endogenous adjustment mechanisms appears to be weaker in larger countries. Finally, the experience of New Zealand and Australia has shown that the longer term benefits of reforms both in terms of the budget and overall economic performance are significant. Even so, it is not easy to disentangle the various forces at play. Fundamentally, structural reform and the implementation of smart fiscal frameworks tend to go hand in hand – indeed may be two sides of the same coin.

Keywords: Monetary union, fiscal policy, structural reforms

JEL Classification: E37, E62, E63, E65, H6, P52

Suggested Citation

Hoeller, Peter and Giorno, Claude, Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: The Long Run Fiscal Reward of Structural Reforms (March 30, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2005209 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2005209

Peter Hoeller (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Claude Giorno

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

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