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EMU and the Size of the Public Sector

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The purpose of this paper is to examine whether membership in the EMU increases the size of the public sector. The estimation of the effect of the EMU on the ratio of government outlays to GDP is based on synthetic counterfactuals. It is found that the average size of the public sector in the EMU countries is higher than what it would have been without the monetary unification. The estimated effects are particularly strong in countries that have had the most unstable governments and the highest level of political competition in the eurozone. These findings support the hypothesis that political distortions of short-sighted governments that produce excessive deficits already under monetary autonomy may be worsened by accession to the monetary union.
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Keywords: EURO; GOVERNMENT SPENDING; MONETARY UNION; SYNTHETIC CONTROL METHOD

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2018

This article was made available online on 05 March 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "EMU and the Size of the Public Sector".

More about this publication?
  • As one of the world's oldest professional journals in public finance, founded in 1884, FinanzArchiv (FA) publishes original work from all fields of public economics which are of interest to an international readership, e.g. taxation, public debt, public goods, public choice, federalism, market failure, social policy, and the welfare state. Special emphasis is on high-quality theoretical and empirical papers on current policy issues.

    FA is a peer-reviewed journal commited to a prompt turnaround of submissions.

    FA is listed in the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences, in Econ Lit, in the Journal of Economic Literature, in IDEAS and RePEc and in the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences.

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