Balanced budget rules and fiscal outcomes : evidence from historical constitutions


Asatryan, Zareh ; Castellon, Cesar ; Stratmann, Thomas


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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/40994
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-409945
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2016
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 16-034
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: H50 , H60 , K10 , N40,
Keywords (English): Economic effects of constitutions , fiscal rules , historical public finances , sovereign debt crises
Abstract: This paper studies the long-run fiscal consequences of balanced budget rules (BBR) that are enshrined in a country's constitution. Using historical data dating back to the 19th century and applying a difference-in-difference approach we find that the introduction of a constitutional-BBR reduces government debt-to-GDP and expenditure-to-GDP ratios, on average, by around 11 and 3 percentage points, respectively. We do not find evidence that BBRs affect tax revenues. Our analysis indicates that such rules reduce the probability of experiencing a debt crisis and that the effective enforcement of BBRs can be conditional on the quality of democratic institutions. In addition, we implement an instrumental variable approach by instrumenting the probability of having budget rules on de jure constraints on changing the constitution. This and other tests suggest that the relations we find are largely causal going from BBRs to fiscal outcomes.

Das Dokument wird vom Publikationsserver der Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim bereitgestellt.




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Asatryan, Zareh ; Castellon, Cesar ; Stratmann, Thomas (2016) Balanced budget rules and fiscal outcomes : evidence from historical constitutions. Open Access ZEW Discussion Papers Mannheim 16-034 [Working paper]
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