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Les déficits publics en Europe : causes, conséquences ou remèdes à la crise ?


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  • Jérôme Creel
  • Henri Sterdyniak


[eng] Public deficits in Europe : causes, consequences, or remedies to the crisis ? Jerome Creel Henri Sterdyniak European countries have recently undergone the conjunction of high interest rates in relation to growth rates and substantial public deficits, which has made the burden of public debt go adrift. This paper aims at describing and explaining this evolution. In the first part, we construct and discuss some indicators of fiscal stance ; we show that, in the recent years, fiscal policy has hardly been expansionary ; the growth in debt can therefore be explained by the high level of real interest rates and the needs for economic stabilization. The discussion over the notion of sustainability of fiscal policies sheds light on its ambiguities and the risks we think are linked to its use. A more relevant distinction is between adjustment deficits, necessary to regulate the economy, and autonomous deficits, which are harmful for capital accumulation. The paper then presents the two opposed theories : according to the neoclassical view, public deficits themselves are responsible for the level of interest rates. Hence, their reduction should decrease interest rates with almost no cost in terms of activity level. These reductions would then boost capital accumulation and growth. According to the keynesian view, however, public deficits are necessary to support demand when interest rates grow because of disinflation policies and financial deregulation. In this context, a number of models can explain the coexistence of high public deficits and real interest rates : Central Banks' independence, non cooperative economic policies with flexible exchange rates, constraints over « domi- nated countries » within a system of fixed exchange rates, the modifica- tion in the functioning of the financial spheres of activity. At last, a model with wealth behaviors discuss the consequences of a growth in interest rates over households and firms. It then analyses the optimal econom

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Presses de Sciences-Po in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): n° 54 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 57-100

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Handle: RePEc:cai:reofsp:reof_p1995_54n1_0057

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Cited by:
  1. Christophe Blot, 2002. "Les politiques budgétaires au sein de l’UEM : entre convergence et asymétrie," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 69(5), pages 247-268.
  2. Schalck, Christophe, 2006. "Règles Budgétaires et Gestion du Policy-Mix dans l'UEM Budgetary Rules and Management of the Policy-Mix in the UME," MPRA Paper 1434, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2006.
  3. Bruno, C., 1999. "Les déficits publics en Europe: Suggestions pour un nouvel indicateur de l'orientation de la politique budgétaire," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 1999-05, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  4. Catherine Bruno, 2000. "Les déficits publics en Europe : suggestions pour un nouvel indicateur de l'orientation de la politique budgétaire," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 146(5), pages 31-41.
  5. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2003. "Reforming the Stability and Growth Pact: Breaking the Ice," Sciences Po publications 2003-02, Sciences Po.
  6. Pierre Villa, 1997. "Incertitude sur le choix du modèle et rationalité," Working Papers 1997-09, CEPII research center.
  7. Jerome Creel & Paola Monperrus-Veroni & Francesco Saraceno, 2005. "Discretionary Policy Interactions and the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level: A SVAR Analysis on French Data," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2005-12, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  8. Henri Sterdyniak & Catherine Mathieu, 2004. "Réformer le Pacte de stabilité : l'état du débat," Macroeconomics 0411019, EconWPA, revised 07 Dec 2004.
  9. Jerome Creel, 1998. "L'assainissement budgétaire au Danemark entre 1983 et 1986 : l'anti-mythe (in French)," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 1998-02, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  10. Bruno Ducoudré, 2005. "Fiscal policy and interest rates," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2005-08, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  11. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/1423 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Michel Aglietta & Merih Uctum, 1995. "Fiscal consolidation in Europe," Research Paper 9519, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


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