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Improving the SGP: Taxes and Delegation rather than Fines

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  • Assar Lindbeck
  • Dirk Niepelt

Abstract

We analyze motivations for, and possible alternatives to, the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). With regard to the former, we identify domestic policy failures and various cross-country spillover effects; with regard to the latter, we contrast an “economic-theory" perspective on optimal corrective measures with the “legalistic" perspective adopted in the SGP. We discuss the advantages of replacing the Pact's rigid rules backed by fines with corrective taxes (as far as spillover effects are concerned) and procedural rules and limited delegation of fiscal powers (as far as domestic policy failures are concerned). This would not only enhance the efficiency of the Pact, but also render it easier to enforce.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1389.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1389

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Keywords: Stability and Growth Pact; spillover effects; policy failures; Pigouvian taxes; policy delegation;

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References

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  1. Dixit, Avinash & Lambertini, Luisa, 2001. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and commitment versus discretion in a monetary union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 977-987, May.
  2. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marco Bassetto & Thomas Sargent, 2005. "Politics and Efficiency of Separating Capital and Ordinary Government Budgets," NBER Working Papers 11030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 2002. "One Money, But Many Fiscal Policies in Europe: What are the Consequences?," Discussion Paper 2002-32, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1995. "Does Monetary Unification Lead to Excessive Debt Accumulation?," DELTA Working Papers 95-23, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Alessandra Casella, 1999. "Tradable deficit permits:efficient implementation of the Stability Pact in the European Monetary Union," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 14(29), pages 321-362, October.
  7. Beetsma, Roel & Uhlig, Harald, 1999. "An Analysis of the Stability and Growth Pact," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 546-71, October.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2004. "Improving the SGP Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Antonio Fat·s & Ilian Mihov, 2003. "On Constraining Fiscal Policy Discretion in EMU," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 112-131.
  11. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2003. "On the desirability of fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Staff Report 330, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Buiter, Willem H & Corsetti, Giancarlo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "`Excessive Deficits': Sense and Nonsense in the Treaty of Maastricht," CEPR Discussion Papers 750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Lars Jonung & Martin Larch, 2006. "Improving fiscal policy in the EU: the case for independent forecasts," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 491-534, 07.
  14. Niepelt, Dirk, 2003. "Tax Evasion Dynamics," Seminar Papers 721, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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Cited by:
  1. Assar Lindbeck, 2005. "Sustainable Social Spending," CESifo Working Paper Series 1594, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Paolo Biraschi, . "Searching for the optimal EMU fiscal rule:an ex-post analysis of the SGP reform proposals," Working Papers wp2008-7, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
  3. Marco Bassetto & Vadym Lepetyuk, 2007. "Government investment and the European stability and growth pact," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 33-43.

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