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Reforming the Stability and Growth Pact: Breaking the Ice

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This paper presents a critical assessment of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). Section 2 recalls the fiscal policy framework in the euro area. Section 3 provides an assessment of the first five years of the SGP. Section 4 addresses the weaknesses of the procedures: arbitrary criteria, insufficient economic policy co-ordination. Section 5 discusses European Commission’s recent proposals: strengthening its influence on national fiscal policies; considering ‘close-to-balance or in surplus’ underlying budgetary positions. Section 6 discusses recent academic proposals: budgetary federalism, golden rule, permanent balance rule, public expenditure rule, fiscal policy committees, public debt surveillance... In section 7 we suggest that national budgetary policies should be responsible for managing the inflationproduction trade-off, under a medium term inflation objective, while monetary policy would target interest rates. This policy mix would give better outcomes in terms of economic stabilisation than the existing framework.

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Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2003-02.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0302

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  1. Artis, Michael J & Buti, Marco, 2000. ""Close to Balance or in Surplus": A Policy Maker's Guide to the Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," CEPR Discussion Papers 2515, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Francesco Saraceno, 2002. "A Theory of Social Custom of Which Soft Growth May Be One Consequence. Tales of the European Stability Pact," Sciences Po publications n°2002-07, Sciences Po.
  3. Sachs, Jeffrey & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Fiscal Federalism and Optimum Currency Areas: Evidence for Europe from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Dominique Bureau & Paul Champsaur, 1992. "Fédéralisme budgétaire et unification économique européenne," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(2), pages 87-99.
  6. Jérôme Creel & Thierry Latreille & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2002. "Le Pacte de stabilité et les politiques budgétaires dans l'Union européenne," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(5), pages 245-297.
  7. Dominique Bureau & Paul Champsaur, 1992. "Fédéralisme budgétaire et unification économique européenne," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 40(1), pages 87-99.
  8. Buti, Marco & Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Franco, Daniele, 2003. "Revisiting the Stability and Growth Pact: Grand Design or Internal Adjustment?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3692, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. F. Modigliani & J.-P. Fitoussi & B. Moro & D. Snower & R. Solow & A. Steinherr & P. Sylos Labini, 1998. "An economists' Manifesto on unemployment in the European Union," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 51(206), pages 327-361.
  11. Henri Sterdyniak & Jérôme Creel, 1995. "Les déficits publics en Europe. Causes, conséquences ou remèdes à la crise ?," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 46(3), pages 645-656.
  12. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R., 1995. "Fiscal flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for monetary union in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 253-274, February.
  13. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Ercolani, Valerio, 2002. "Cyclical and Structural Deficits on the Road to Accession: Fiscal Rules for an Enlarged European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3672, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Ludger Schuknecht, 2001. "The Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 1(3), pages 81-116.
  15. Eisner, Robert, 1989. "Budget Deficits: Rhetoric and Reality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 73-93, Spring.
  16. C�cile Denis & Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner R�ger, 2002. "Production function approach to calculating potential growth and output gaps - estimates for the EU Member States and the US," European Economy - Economic Papers 176, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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  19. Willem H. Buiter & Clemens Grafe, 2004. "Patching up the Pact," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(1), pages 67-102, 03.
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Cited by:
  1. Emmanuel MOUSSONE, 2010. "Insertion des pays de la zone franc africaine dans le commerce mondial : étude d’une spécialisation appauvrissante et le problème du financement de l’économie (Insertion of the African Franc Z," Working Papers 231, Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO / Research Unit on Industry and Innovation.
  2. Sébastien Pommier, 2008. "The Use of Fiscal Policy in EMU: First Appraisal and Future Prospects," EKONOMIAZ, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, vol. 69(03), pages 28-45.
  3. Poplawski Ribeiro, Marcos & Beetsma, Roel, 2008. "The political economy of structural reforms under a deficit restriction," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 179-198, March.
  4. Thierry Warin, 2005. "The Hidden Structural Features of the Fiscal Rule: A European Saga," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 29-38, March.

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