Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/94077
Authors: 
von Hagen, Jürgen
Year of Publication: 
2006
Series/Report no.: 
SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper 147
Abstract: 
Fiscal rules specify quantitative targets for key budgetary aggregates. In this paper, we review the experience with such rules in Japan and in the EU. Comparing the performance of fiscal policy in the 1980s and 1990s until 2003, we find that the fiscal rule of the 1980s exerted some but not much disciplinary influence on Japanese fiscal policy. The fiscal rule of the Maastricht Treaty had a significant impact on political budget cycles in the EU, but did little to constrain fiscal policy in the large member states. Since the start of the European Monetary Union, the disciplinary effect of the fiscal rule in the EU has vanished. Next, we discuss the importance of budgetary institutions for the effectiveness of fiscal rules. In Europe, a number of countries adopted strong fiscal rules, i.e., a fiscal rule combined with a design of the budget process enabling governments to commit to the rule. We find that strong fiscal rules have been effective. We conclude with some suggestions for the design of a strong fiscal rule in Japan.
Subjects: 
Fiscal policy
political budget cycles
government budgeting
JEL: 
H11
H61
H62
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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