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The aim of this paper is to investigate the influence of fiscal rules on the budgetary outcomes in 27 European Union countries. In particular, the paper focuses on assessing whether the impact of fiscal rules is statistically significant and numerically meaningful. In order to assess the influence, we use a dynamic panel data model. In our baseline model, we introduce the fiscal rule index as an explanatory variable. Our estimation rests on the fiscal reaction function. The analysis shows that the fiscal rule index positively affects the cyclically-adjusted primary balance and the cyclicallyadjusted balance.

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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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Although Ethiopia is one of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), there is a lack of empirical studies about the determinants of its external indebtedness. This paper aims to fill this gap by examining the macroeconomic determinants of the external indebtedness of Ethiopia between 1981 and 2016, using the two- and three-gap models as a theoretical framework and an autoregressive distributed lag bound testing approach. The result shows that in the long run, the savings-investment gap, trade deficit, fiscal deficit, and debt service have a positive and significant impact on external indebtedness. However, the growth rate of gross domestic product, trade openness, and inflation negatively and significantly affect the external indebtedness of the country. These results coincide with the predictions of the two- and three-gap models of the theoretical framework. The study argues that appropriate macroeconomic, social, and supply-side policies are essential to reducing the external indebtedness of Ethiopia.

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In this paper we aim to investigate what role fiscal cycles played in the development of the Hungarian state budget balances since the change of regime in 1989 until the parliamentary elections held in 2010. The literature has found that political budget cycles (PBC) are more typical in less developed countries with a shorter period of experience with democratic institutions, like the post-socialist transition economies. Nevertheless, empirical studies point out that this phenomenon has been disappearing over time. By testing the six parliamentary elections in Hungary until 2010, we show that discretional governmental actions of pork barrel spending were apparent more or less in almost each election period, peaking in the last decade. The most typical form of the fiscal cycles in Hungary proved to be social transfers to households including old-age benefits, family support or price subsidies, but also public sector wages were subject to PBC. As a result, state budget balances were significantly shaped by the cyclical movements of fiscal laxity and restrictions, resulting in strong fluctuations in fiscal balances and an overall high budget deficits in the two decades under review.

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Although Ethiopia is one of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), there is a lack of empirical studies about the determinants of its external indebtedness. This paper aims to fill this gap by examining the macroeconomic determinants of the external indebtedness of Ethiopia between 1981 and 2016, using the two- and three-gap models as a theoretical framework and an autoregressive distributed lag bound testing approach. The result shows that in the long run, the savings-investment gap, trade deficit, fiscal deficit, and debt service have a positive and significant impact on external indebtedness. However, the growth rate of gross domestic product, trade openness, and inflation negatively and significantly affect the external indebtedness of the country. These results coincide with the predictions of the two- and three-gap models of the theoretical framework. The study argues that appropriate macroeconomic, social, and supply-side policies are essential to reducing the external indebtedness of Ethiopia.

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to study the impact of fiscal policy on economic growth in Bulgaria for the period 1995–2018. The descriptive analysis is focused on the general trends in fiscal policy and tax structure. The influence of government spending and taxation on economic growth is studied through regressions on time-series data. The empirical estimates prove that taxation is a more reliable instrument of fiscal policy than government spending in terms of a small open emerging-market economy. The dilution of the effect of public spending is probably caused by the high negative values of the current account balance that have been maintained for long periods. Thus, when domestic supply is weak, government expenditure cannot stimulate domestic production, as supply is dominated by import goods. Public investments demonstrate a negative effect on economic growth, which suggests a low productivity of investment spending. A factor of great importance is the level of corruption, which is strongly correlated with government investments, but is harmful to their efficiency. The Bulgarian tax system demonstrates consistency with economic growth. The receipts from value-added tax seems growth-conductive. The decrease of the corporate income tax rate exerts a positive impact on economc performance during the analyzed period, while personal income taxation demonstrates a negative effect. Property taxation has no significant relation with the growth of the Bulgarian economy.

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Abstract

Though tax amnesties (TAs) are considered as a policy tool to increase revenue for governments, they have generated some puzzles. To solve the puzzles of TA we should not ignore the behavioural aspects of delinquent taxpayers. In this paper, we focus on a relatively neglected but important area of the TA literature. Considering that people who participate in tax amnesty policy (TAP) may not honestly report the whole amounts of evaded tax, thus they commit a secondary tax evasion. We indicate that even considering the risk of abstaining from TA and incurring possible uncertainty of tax evasion penalties, participating in a TA provides a higher level of utility for the delinquent taxpayers. Also, due to a secondary tax evasion usually accompanying with TA, we show that during the initial assessment period of a TAP the tax revenue drastically increases and when the assessment period is approaching the tax revenue stably declines and ultimately converges to a fixed value. Furthermore, we show that if delinquent taxpayers participate in the TAP and the penalties are larger than the expected tax revenue of the government, it increases the tax revenue without reducing the welfare of other taxpayers, so as to achieving Pareto improvement.

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It is argued that European integration has not fulfilled its chief economic promises. Output growth has been increasingly weak and unstable. Productivity growth has been following a decreasing trend. Income inequalities, both within and between the EU member states, have been rising. This sorry state of affairs is likely to continue — and likely to precipitate further exits, or eventually, the dissolution of the Union. However, this outcome is not unavoidable. A better integration in the EU is possible, at least in theory. Also, the negative consequences implicit in the existence of the common currency could be neutralised. However, the basic paradigms of the economic policies to be followed in the EU would have to be radically changed. First, the unconditional fiscal consolidation provisions still in force would have to be repelled. Second, “beggar-thy-neighbour” (or mercantilist) wage policies would have to be “outlawed”.

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It is argued that increased freedom to run economic activities combined with the growing impotence of national governments (i.e., globalization) have contributed to the secular growth slowdown at the global level. Fast globalisation-driven growth of international trade has unleashed the global race for economic surpluses. The process involves the suppression of wages and widening income inequalities – restricting aggregate demand globally. A “beggar-thy-neighbor” tactics of keeping large trade surpluses by countries successfully suppressing wages and domestic demand is likely to be unproductive. Overcoming the secular stagnation may not be possible without safeguarding equilibrium (or balance) in international transactions between major industrial countries – even if this may necessitate that in most (or all) of them the public sectors run large fiscal deficits permanently.

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For many years Keynesian fiscal policy became very popular and was used by governments to fight slowdowns and recessions. In the 1980s and in the next three decades, this policy lost much appeal among economists in academia, though less among governments. The financial crisis of 2007–2008 and the following Great Recession brought a sudden revival of interest in and use of fiscal policies. This paper outlines the main criticisms that were directed at the Keynesian fiscal policy from the beginning. Some of these criticisms are less-known than others.

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