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This paper analyses the impact of public debt level and its (un)sustainability on fiscal policy in Croatia in the 2001–2015 period. A switching regression approach is used to distinguish different regimes when government spending, i.e. fiscal policy has more or less impact on economic growth during different cycles. In the second part, the structural VAR model is used to analyse the dynamic effects of government spending on domestic demand in Croatia. To observe the public debt effects on a fiscal policy, a “closed” model is compared with an “extended” model which includes a debtto- GDP indicator. Results show a negative impact of recession on public debt sustainability and confirm the main thesis that public debt level significantly affects and reduces the effectiveness of fiscal policy in Croatia.

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Most countries now share the prospect of an extended period of public fiscal austerity. Yet at the same time the demands for improved public services continues. This paper reviews the relationship between expenditure restraint and reform. It describes three broad strategies for achieving savings, noting that each has a different mixture of advantages and disadvantages. It then identifies four significant considerations that public service leaders will need to bear in mind as they decide their programs: timing, ethics, communications and legitimacy. The paper concludes with the observation that simultaneously tackling the needs for austerity and reform will call for extraordinary levels of public service leadership.

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Seldom does public attention follow taxation as it does now. As a result of the global economic crisis, due to the fiscal consolidations, taxation plays an increasingly important role within financial policy. The emergence and the extensive spread of taxes on the financial sector is one of the consequences of the global economic crisis. This paper deals with some theoretical connections of this change in taxation.

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Acta Oeconomica
Authors:
Jorge de Andrés-Sánchez
,
Ángel Belzunegui-Eraso
, and
Francesc Valls-Fonayet

Abstract

The relationship between social expenditure, on the one hand, and poverty or income inequality indicators, on the other, focuses a great interest in the literature on welfare systems. In this paper, we evaluate the efficiency of the social transfer policies of the EU-28 states between 2011 and 2015 using deterministic and stochastic frontier models. Using the fuzzy clustering methods, we identify the patterns in the size of welfare systems, which we measure from the value and efficiency of social expenditure. In this way, we identify four clusters. The first cluster comprises many EU-15 countries (normally the Continental and the Nordic welfare states); the second comprises nations that were integrated into the EU in the last 15 years (mostly the former Communist countries); the third cluster comprises the culturally and geographically heterogeneous countries, such as Hungary, Ireland, Croatia and Luxemburg (whose main characteristic is the high efficiency of their social expenditure); and finally, the fourth group basically comprises the southern European countries, whose social transfer policy effectiveness is rather weak.

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Abstract

János Kornai published an interesting and important paper in 2000 about the “system paradigm”, and another in 2016 about the “system paradigm revisited”. In the last one he made a theoretical approach for differences between democracies, autocracies and dictatorships; made a typology for the most important elements for characterization of different political systems. In the second half of the 2010’s a debate has started among political analysts, public intellectuals and journalists, how we can characterize the new political system of Hungary led by Viktor Orbán. We can read detailed analyses about “hybrid regime”, “limited democracy”, “illiberal democracy”, “plebiscite leader democracy” etc. In this paper I would like to deal with the question of different political systems in general, and – on the experiences of the debates about the current Hungarian system – I would like to think further – the Kornai's model. Kornai pointed out 10 elements for characterization of it (the questions of removable governments, opposition parties in parliaments, elections, civil society, freedom of press, etc.) – I would like to differentiate 10 new potential elements, especially from the side of the political ideas, historical backgrounds and other viewpoints.

Open access

Abstract

One of the objectives of fiscal policy is to ensure a fair income distribution. In the literature there is no consensus on the income inequality – fiscal policy nexus. Unlike previous studies, this paper contributes to the literature by quantifying the moderating effect of income inequality in total tax revenues and gross national expenditures which are defined as fiscal policy tools. With the help of two moderator variables (income inequality*total tax revenues, and income inequality*gross national expenditures), the impact of income inequality and fiscal policy tools on economic growth are tested for 20 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries from 1990 to 2019. Diagnostic tests are also carried out on the series before long-term relationships are determined. Our analysis finds that the inequality-growth relationship is negative, the moderator variable defined as income inequality * total tax revenues decreases the strength of the relationship, and the moderator variable defined as income inequality * gross national expenditures increases the strength of the relationship.

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In this paper, we use the structural VAR model to analyse the dynamic effects of (discretionary) fiscal shocks on the economic activity of the private sector in Croatia between 2000 and 2012. Due to the fact that Croatia is a small open transition economy, we assume that shocks of foreign origin can have notable effects on its performance. Therefore, the original Blanchard-Perotti identification method is extended by introducing variables that represent external (foreign) demand shocks. The results show that government spending has a positive and statistically significant effect on private aggregate demand and private consumption, and that net indirect taxes have a negative and statistically significant effect on private consumption and private investment.

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Abstract

Both the level and composition of public expenditures and revenues have implications for economic development, as argued by the ‘fiscal multiplier’ and the ‘quality of public finance’ literature. Public finance decisions also influence the distribution of income. By reviewing the literature, I argue for a fair distribution of income as reflected in low income inequality, not particularly because of the impact of income inequality on long-term growth (which is a controversial issue), but primarily because income inequality typically implies inequality of opportunity. European Union countries have very diverse public finance structures and different levels of effectiveness, and there is room for improvement in growth and equality impacts in all countries. A general guideline would be that the most effective approach comprises progressive taxes and inheritance taxes, spending on education, health and public infrastructure, and better government effectiveness. At the height of the 2008 global and the subsequent European financial and economic crises, the fiscal consolidation strategies of EU countries largely relied on cutting public investment and social spending (except pensions), which is the opposite of what is suggested in the literature. Better fiscal rules and good fiscal institutions are needed to safeguard growth- and distribution friendly expenditures in a crisis.

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The purpose of this paper is the empirical testing of the relationship between economic growth and government spending and, at the same time, to determine the extent to which economic growth causes growth in government expenditures (Wagner’s law) or the other way around (Keynesian hypothesis). The econometric analysis, using data for the Greek economy covering the period 1958–2004 and based on recent developments in the theory of cointegrated processes, reveals a long-run equilibrium relationship between government expenditures and economic output. Furthermore, the analysis detects causal effects in both the short-run and long-run horizon running from government expenditures to the level of economic activity and vice versa.

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Performance and efficiency of governments in OECD countries

Experiences of the great moderation period

Acta Oeconomica
Author:
László Muraközy

In the last decades, one of the most characteristic features in the developed economies has been the growing role of government. In this study, we focus on the Great Moderation period of the OECD countries. Targeting a more subtle approach to the role of the modern state, we shall here analyse not only the size of governmental expenditures, but also the performance and efficiency achieved. Taking the findings of the professional literature into account, we divided the developed countries into five groups, four from Europe, plus the overseas OECD countries. We shall examine what is the optimal size of the public sector for these groups from the point of view of economic growth and compare these results with the real figures.

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