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National Expenditure Rules in the EU An Analysis of Effectiveness and Compliance

Cristiana Manescu () and Elva Bova

No 124, European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - from Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission

Abstract: This study reviews national expenditure rules currently in force in the EU, examining their design, effectiveness and the extent to which they have been complied with. Based on evidence from the Commission’s Fiscal Governance Database and using a novel database on compliance and econometric estimation, this study finds that out of the 14 expenditure rules covering general and central governments, half mirror the EU expenditure benchmark while four rules are multi-annual expenditure ceilings, with varying binding force. Empirical estimates over the 1999-2016 period confirm that while fiscal policy is indeed pro-cyclical in the EU, the magnitude of the pro-cyclical bias is lower in presence of expenditure rules. Moreover, the better the expenditure rule design in terms of legal base, independent monitoring, consequences for non-compliance or coverage, the stronger the mitigating effect. Finally, we find that expenditure rules were complied with in about 78 percent of cases, with compliance being better for multiannual expenditure ceilings than for rules specified as growth rates.

JEL-codes: E62 E63 H5 H6 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2020-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eec and nep-mac
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