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Statistical Implications of the Stability and Growth Pact: Creative accounting and the role of Eurostat

Lena Frej Ohlsson ()
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Lena Frej Ohlsson: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: Box 640, SE 40530 GÖTEBORG

No 268, Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

Abstract: This study covers the relation between the political and accounting implications of the Stability and Growth Pact, which entered into force in 1996. It describes the underlying legal framework and accounting rules and the role of the European Commission and Eurostat in this respect. Additionally, a complete description of the work in the context of the excessive deficit procedure is provided, including the provision of data by Member States, the validation process by Eurostat, the procedures in case of disagreements and the main methodological decisions taken by Eurostat in recent years. Furthermore, the implementation of the statistical framework and rules by the Member States is analysed in detail. Apart from a general chapter on the concept and use of creative accounting, a range of case studies are presented, based on the national accounts framework ESA95. The countries included in the study are Portugal, Italy, France, Germany and Sweden. A separate chapter is devoted to Greece, due to the importance and consequence of the case. The results of the analysis in the case studies show not only the complexity of the statistical framework as such and its implementation, but also the political influence. Finally, as an outcome of the developments in some countries, and in particular in Germany and France in 2003, as well as the Greek tragedy, the SGP was revised. The content and outcome of this revision are also covered.

Keywords: Stability and Growth Pact; SGP; excessive deficit; creative accounting; Eurostat; European Union (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E01 E62 E63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 95 pages
Date: 2007-10-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-acc, nep-eec and nep-mac
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