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A Challenge for the G20: Globally Stipulated Debt Brakes and Transnational Independent Fiscal Supervisory Councils

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Author Info

  • Dolls, Mathias

    ()
    (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Peichl, Andreas

    ()
    (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    ()
    (IZA and University of Bonn)

Abstract

Debt-to-GDP ratios have grown to unprecedented levels in many industrialized economies. This requires disciplined consolidation efforts which are, however, supposed to come now at the wrong time with the economic recovery being fragile. Against this background, we call for a global debt brake following the German example and discuss the political progress achieved at the most recent Euro and G20 summits. The agreement on the debt brake should be binding and hence be fixed in national constitutions and monitored by independent transnational fiscal councils. The fiscal councils could be located at the ESM and the IMF and should conduct a regular evaluation of national budget plans. In an economic and political environment which is characterized by large uncertainties concerning economic prospects and the fear of a potential spreading of the sovereign debt crisis, a global debt brake in combination with an independent transnational supervisory council would send a credible signal that a reduction of sovereign debt to sustainable levels is not further delayed into the future. The new fiscal policy framework thus leaves enough room for discretionary fiscal policy and the workings of automatic stabilizers in an economic downturn.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6160.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Intereconomics, 2012, 47 (1), 31-38
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6160

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Keywords: debt brake; fiscal council; G20;

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  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-78, May.
  2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," NBER Working Papers 15795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Federico Sturzenegger & Mariano Tommasi (ed.), 1998. "The Political Economy of Reform," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262194007, December.
  4. Mathias Dolls & Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl, 2010. "Automatic Stabilizers and Economic Crisis: US vs. Europe," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 01-02, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  5. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov, 2003. "The Case For Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1419-1447, November.
  6. Clemens Fuest, 2011. "Will the Reform of the Institutional Framework Restore Fiscal Stability in the Eurozone?," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(2), pages 34-39, 07.
  7. Ralph Rotte & Klaus Zimmermann, 1998. "Fiscal restraint and the political economy of EMU," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 385-406, March.
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