Recently, some attempts to increase the stance for fiscal policies in the European budgetary framework have followed the line of reducing the estimated “structural” unemployment rate (NAIRU), with the ensuing increase in the computation of the output gap. A similar effect can be obtained by increasing the actual participation rate. In this paper, we propose the introduction of a deficit-financed conditional minimum income (CMI) to discouraged people which are outside the labor force. By stimulating participation, this measure would bring about an upward revision of Italy’s potential output, and this in turn will contribute to generate a greater fiscal stance. We empirically assess the reliability of this measure by using both comparative statics and empirical estimations carried out via the simulation procedure used by the Output Gaps Working Group of the European Commission. Assuming one million newcomers in the labor force, our findings indicate that the measure would have produced a greater fiscal space of approximately €19 billion in 2016 and €12 billion in 2017. We also forecast the impact of the introduction of the deficit-financed CMI on real GDP and public finance indicators. We finally discuss the feasibility and the main criticisms of the proposal.

Output gap, participation and minimum income: a proposal for Italy

Paternesi Meloni, Walter
;
2021

Abstract

Recently, some attempts to increase the stance for fiscal policies in the European budgetary framework have followed the line of reducing the estimated “structural” unemployment rate (NAIRU), with the ensuing increase in the computation of the output gap. A similar effect can be obtained by increasing the actual participation rate. In this paper, we propose the introduction of a deficit-financed conditional minimum income (CMI) to discouraged people which are outside the labor force. By stimulating participation, this measure would bring about an upward revision of Italy’s potential output, and this in turn will contribute to generate a greater fiscal stance. We empirically assess the reliability of this measure by using both comparative statics and empirical estimations carried out via the simulation procedure used by the Output Gaps Working Group of the European Commission. Assuming one million newcomers in the labor force, our findings indicate that the measure would have produced a greater fiscal space of approximately €19 billion in 2016 and €12 billion in 2017. We also forecast the impact of the introduction of the deficit-financed CMI on real GDP and public finance indicators. We finally discuss the feasibility and the main criticisms of the proposal.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1657598
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