Expenditure Rules: Effective Tools for Sound Fiscal Policy?


This paper provides new evidence on the effectiveness of expenditure rules. The analysis is based on a unique dataset covering all countries with national and supranational fiscal rules, including 33 expenditure rules, between 1985 and 2013. It contributes to the existing literature on fiscal rules in two main ways. First, it is the most comprehensive assessment of compliance with rules and of the potential role of expenditure rules, in particular regarding long-term sustainability. Second, it analyzes whether expenditure rules are associated with changes in public investment and its efficiency. 


  • Introduction
  • What type of expenditure rules are in place and what are their design features?
  • Why do countries adopt & abandon expenditure rules?
  • What is the evidence?
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Tables 
  • Figures
  • Appendices 
  • References
Contact Person/Organization: 

International Monetary Fund

Type of Tool:

Publication Date: 

Globalization's Faces