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-06-4609. References Afonso , A. – Sousa , R. M. ( 2009 ): The Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Policy . ECB Working Paper Series , No. 991

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1 Introduction Contemporary fiscal policy pursues a variety of objectives. The tax system aims not just to raise the necessary funds for government expenditure, but also to contribute to income redistribution, economic stabilization, resource

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US and the Euro Area. ECB Working Paper Series No. 972. Eggertson, G. B. (2009): What Fiscal Policy is Effective at Zero Interest Rates. Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report No. 402

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Auerbach, J.A. - Gorodnichenko, Y. (2012): Measuring the Output Responses to Fiscal Policy. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy , 4(2): 1–27. Gorodnichenko Y

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, C. ( 2008 ): Fiscal Policy for the Crisis . IMF Staff Position Note, No. 08/01, December 29. Tanzi , V. ( 2013 ): Dollars, Euros, and Debt: How We Got into the

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Fiscal Policy Matter ? Journal of Public Economics , 82 ( 6 ): 1095 – 1100 . Brunila , A. ( 2002 ): Gauging Ricardian Equivalence . In: Buti , M. – von Hagen , J

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of studies focused on the debate about the coordination of policy mix and the directions of monetary and fiscal policies in the European economies. In Section 3 the expansiveness and restrictiveness of monetary and fiscal policies in the EZ were

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): Fiscal Policy, Profits and Investment., American Economic Review, (92): 571-589. Fiscal Policy, Profits and Investment American Economic Review 571 589

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This paper deals with the possible existence of political budget cycles (PBCs) within the European Union (EU). I use panel data for 28 EU countries from 1995 to 2016 and provide estimates based on dynamic panel regressions. I employ a system-GMM estimator complemented by the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to limit the number of instruments. The specifications include structural budget balances related to the potential GDP, thereby limiting the initial endogeneity. These measures capture the true motivation behind fiscal policies. The results suggest that the EU member states exhibit PBCs: (i) the intervention occurs in the year before elections and (ii) the structural budget balance to the potential GDP ratio is lower by −0.41 percentage points a year before elections. In addition, I have investigated the EU fragmentation in terms of the PBCs and selected 8 countries’ characteristics correlating to the existence of these cycles. These include lower GDP per capita, post-communist background, low tax burden, high perceived corruption, low levels of media freedom and internet usage, lower number of directly voted-in legislative officials, and a low parliamentary voter turnout.

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Ashauer, David (1988): The Equilibrium Approach to Fiscal Policy. Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking , 20: 41–62. Ashauer D. The

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