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The European Financial and Economic Crisis: Alternative Solutions from a (Post-) Keynesian Perspective

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  • Eckhard Hein
  • Achim Truger
  • Till van Treeck

    ()
    (Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) at the Hans Boeckler Foundation)

Abstract

The financial and economic crisis in the Euro area has revealed a number of important flaws in the economic policy framework in Europe. On the one hand, the imbalances, which have dominated European development since the introduction of the euro, are not sustainable; and this is more serious in a period of crisis in particular. On the other hand, it has become clear that the Euro area suffers from a serious lack of institutions and policy concepts, which will not allow coping with deep financial and economic crises unless a deep restructuring takes place. The policy reactions of European governments, the European Commission and the European Central Bank in cooperation with the IMF will, therefore, hardly be able to initiate recovery. On the one hand, some important steps towards financial stabilisation have been made. On the other hand, however, these are combined with restrictive fiscal and wage policies, which will impose deflationary pressure on major parts of the Euro area and thus prevent stabilisation (or reduction) of public debt-GDP ratios. In the paper we will first analyse the imbalances, which have been built up in the Euro area, before we briefly review the policy responses towards the crisis. Since the prescribed fiscal and wage policies are still dominated by the New Consensus Macroeconomics theoretical framework, we will then develop an alternative macroeconomic policy model based on Keynesian and Post-Keynesian principles. It will be shown that stabilising wage and active fiscal policies will have major roles to play in order to cope with the imbalances and to initiate recovery for the EU as a whole. Furthermore, current account targets will have to be included into intra-Euro area policy coordination.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute in its series IMK Working Paper with number 9-2011.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imk:wpaper:9-2011

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References

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  1. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  2. Thomas Palley, 2004. "Asset-based reserve requirements: reasserting domestic monetary control in an era of financial innovation and instability," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 43-58.
  3. Eckhard Hein & Torsten Niechoj, 2005. "Guidelines for sustained growth in the EU? The concept and consequences of the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines," Macroeconomics 0508016, EconWPA.
  4. Jan Kregel, 2009. "Some Simple Observations on the Reform of the International Monetary System," Economics Policy Note Archive 09-8, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  5. Anthony Philip Thirlwall, 1979. "The Balance of Payments Constraint as an Explanation of International Growth Rate Differences," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 32(128), pages 45-53.
  6. Thomas I. Palley, 2010. "Asset price bubbles and counter-cyclical monetary policy: Why central banks have been wrong and what should be done," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar, vol. 7(1), pages 91-107.
  7. Eckhard Hein & Engelbert Stockhammer, 2010. "Macroeconomic Policy Mix, Employment and Inflation in a Post-Keynesian Alternative to the New Consensus Model," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 317-354.
  8. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2006. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Performance in the Euro area - Lessons for the Future," IMK Working Paper 07-2006, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  9. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2009. "How to Fight (or Not to Fight) a Slowdown," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 52(3), pages 52-75, May.
  10. Eckhard Hein, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Wage Bargaining in the EMU: Restrictive ECB Policies, High Unemployment, Nominal Wage Restraint and Rising Inflation," Macroeconomics 0501010, EconWPA.
  11. Louis-Philippe Rochon & Mark Setterfield, 2007. "Interest rates, income distribution, and monetary policy dominance: Post Keynesians and the "fair rate" of interest," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 30(1), pages 13-42, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Eckhard Hein, 2013. "The crisis of finance-dominated capitalism in the euro area, deficiencies in the economic policy architecture, and deflationary stagnation policies," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 36(2), pages 325-354, January.
  2. Hein, Eckhard, 2012. "Finance-dominated capitalism, re-distribution and the financial and economic crises: A European perspective," IPE Working Papers 14/2012, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
  3. Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2013. "Future fiscal and debt policies: Germany in the Context of the European Monetary Union," IPE Working Papers 24/2013, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
  4. Thorsten Schulten & Torsten Müller, 2013. "Ein neuer europäischer Interventionismus? Die Auswirkungen des neuen Systems der europäischen Economic Governance auf Löhne und Tarifpolitik," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 39(3), pages 291-321.
  5. Alberto Botta, 2012. "Conflicting Claims in the Eurozone? Austerity's Myopic Logic and the Need for a European Federal Union in a Post-Keynesian Eurozone Center-Periphery Model," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_740, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  6. alberto, botta, 2011. "Fiscal policy, eurobonds and economic recovery: some heterodox policy recipes against financial instability and sovereign debt crisis," MPRA Paper 33860, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Hein, Eckhard, 2011. "Distribution, 'financialisation' and the financial and economic crisis: Implications for post-crisis economic policies," IPE Working Papers 09/2011, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
  8. Botta, Alberto, 2012. "Conflicting Claims in Eurozone? Austerity’s Myopic Logic and the Need of a European federal union in a post-Keynesian Eurozone Center-Periphery Model," MPRA Paper 41700, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2013. "Fiscal Policy and Rebalancing in the Euro Area: A Critique of the German Debt Brake from a Post-Keynesian Perspective," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_776, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  10. Hermann, Christoph, 2013. "Crisis, structural reform and the dismantling of the European Social Model(s)," IPE Working Papers 26/2013, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
  11. Jorge Uxó & Jesús Paúl & Eladio Febrero, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances in the Monetary Union and the Great Recession: Causes and Policies," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(5), pages 571-592, December.

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