Discretionary Fiscal Policy in the Euro Area: Past, Present and Future
31 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2017
Date Written: October 18, 2017
The depth and the length of the recent crisis prompted a more positive re-assessment of a countercyclical fiscal stance, especially in the euro area. Against this background, we look at discretionary fiscal policy in the euro area from three different perspectives. First, we provide evidence that the discretionary fiscal policy in euro-area countries has been mostly acyclical even if our estimates suggest that using it counter-cyclically could have been useful, particularly during the crisis. Second, focusing on the short-run – i.e. taking as given the economic and institutional constraints that currently make a significant fiscal expansion quite unrealistic in Europe – we discuss some budget-neutral proposals aimed at fostering economic growth. Finally, taking a more forward-looking perspective, we discuss the issue of the appropriate fiscal stance for the euro area as a whole, and argue that the advantages of having a coordinated approach (e.g. through a centralized fiscal capacity) can be substantial.
Keywords: Discretionary Fiscal Policy, Automatic Stabilizers, European Monetary Union
JEL Classification: E62, H87
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation