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Fiscal Policy in Europe: The Past and Future of EMU Rules from the Perspective of Musgrave and Buchanan

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  • Buti, Marco
  • Sapir, André

Abstract

During the ‘Golden Age’ that lasted until the mid-1970s, Europe witnessed a "public finance" phase, when the three sides of Musgrave’s triangle - allocative efficiency, redistribution and cyclical stabilisation - seemed to reinforce one another. EMU's fiscal rules - embodied in the Maastricht Treaty and the Stability and Growth Pact - can be regarded as the attempt by European governments to overcome the subsequent "public choice" phase à la Buchanan which was characterised by increasing budget deficits and trade offs between allocative efficiency and redistribution. The original Stability Pact delivered only partly. A rigorous enforcement of the reformed Pact will depend on two conditions: the renewed ownership of the rules by key players and the relative weight of the perceived negative externalities of fiscal misbehaviour versus the political costs of attempting to limit the partner countries’ room for manoeuvre.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5830.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5830

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Keywords: EMU; fiscal policy; Stability Pact;

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References

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  1. Gábor Orbán & György Szapáry, 2004. "The Stability and Growth Pact from the Perspective of the New Member States," MNB Working Papers 2004/4, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
  2. Benoiˆt Coeure´ & Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2005. "Fiscal Policy in Emu: Towards a Sustainability and Growth Pact?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 598-617, Winter.
  3. Sapir, Andre & Aghion, Philippe & Bertola, Giuseppe & Hellwig, Martin & Pisani-Ferry, Jean & Rosati, Dariusz & Vinals, Jose & Wallace, Helen, 2004. "An Agenda for a Growing Europe: The Sapir Report," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199271498, October.
  4. Willem H. Buiter, 2006. "The 'Sense and Nonsense of Maastricht' Revisited: What Have we Learnt about Stabilization in EMU?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44, pages 687-710, November.
  5. Buti, M. & Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Franco, D., 2005. "The Stability pact Pains: A Forward-Looking Assessment of the Reform Debate," Discussion Paper 2005-101, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  7. James M. Buchanan & Richard A. Musgrave, 1999. "Public Finance and Public Choice: Two Contrasting Visions of the State," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262024624, December.
  8. Marco Buti & Gabriele Giudice, 2002. "Maastricht's Fiscal Rules at Ten: An Assessment," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 823-848, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Buti, M. & Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Franco, D., 2003. "Revisiting the Stability and Growth Pact: Grand Design or Internal Adjustment?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-176184, Tilburg University.
  11. Marco Buti & Paul Noord, 2004. "Fiscal Discretion and Elections in the Early Years of EMU," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 737-756, November.
  12. Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2005. "Fiscal policy in EMU: towards a sustainability and growth pact," Working Papers 52, Bruegel.
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Cited by:
  1. Karsten Staehr, 2007. "Fiscal policies and business cycles in an enlarged euro area," Bank of Estonia Working Papers 2007-03, Bank of Estonia, revised 08 Mar 2007.
  2. Ferré Carracedo, Montserrat, 2011. "The effects of uncertainty about countries' compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact," Working Papers 2072/169686, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  3. Jacopo Cimadomo, 2007. "Fiscal Policy in Real Time," Working Papers 2007-10, CEPII research center.
  4. Christian Fahrholz & Cezary Wójcik, 2010. "The Bail-Out! Positive Political Economics of Greek-type Crises in the EMU," CESifo Working Paper Series 3178, CESifo Group Munich.

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