Budget Rules and Fiscal Policy: Ten Lessons from Theory and Evidence


  • This paper will be presented at a conference on Government Debt in Democracies: Causes, Effects, and Limits, Berlin, 30 November to 1 December 2012.


There has been considerable research and discussion over the years about the potential role of fiscal rules in supporting better economic outcomes; the design, implementation and enforcement, of such rules; and the prospects for alternative fiscal and political institutions to promote the objectives to which fiscal rules are typically targeted. This paper provides an overview of some of the findings that this research and unfolding events have brought forward, organized in the form of ten lessons that can be learned from accumulating theory and evidence.