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Monetary Integration, Soft Budget Constraints, and the EMU Sovereign Debt Crises

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  • Thushyanthan Baskaran

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Göttingen, Germany)

  • Zohal Hessami

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Abstract

One possible explanation for the European sovereign debt crises is that the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) gave rise to consolidation fatigue or even deliberate over-borrowing. This paper explores the validity of this explanation by studying how three decisive stages in the history of the EMU affected public borrowing in EU member states: the signing of the Maastricht treaty in 1992, the introduction of the Euro in 1999, and the suspension of the SGP in late 2003. The methodology relies on difference-in-difference regressions covering 26 OECD countries over the 1975-2009 period. The findings indicate that the first two 'treatments' reduced deficits especially in traditional high-deficit countries. In contrast, the watering down of the original SGP encouraged borrowing in countries which traditionally have had high deficits.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2013-03.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 14 Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1303

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Keywords: EMU; monetary union; fiscal policy; public deficits;

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References

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  1. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2009. "Did the Maastricht treaty matter for macroeconomic performance?," MPRA Paper 30106, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
  3. Bertrand Candelon & Joan Muysken & Robert Vermeulen, 2010. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe: an update," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 323-349, April.
  4. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  5. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf & Dan Peled, 2005. "Is It Is or Is It Ain't My Obligation? Regional Debt in a Fiscal Federation," NBER Working Papers 11655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
  7. Lee, Jong-Wha & Shin, Kwanho, 2008. "IMF bailouts and moral hazard," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 816-830, September.
  8. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2010. "Dynamic Commitment and the Soft Budget Constraint: An Empirical Test," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 154-79, August.
  9. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2011. "Soft budget constraints and strategic interactions in subnational borrowing: Evidence from the German States, 1975-2005," MPRA Paper 32537, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Schnabel, Isabel & Zettelmeyer, Jeromin, 2006. "How Do Official Bailouts Affect the Risk of Investing in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1689-1714, October.
  11. Charles Wyplosz, 2006. "European Monetary Union: the dark sides of a major success," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 21(46), pages 207-261, 04.
  12. Timothy Goodspeed, 2002. "Bailouts in a Federation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 409-421, August.
  13. Ludger Schuknecht & Philippe Moutot & Philipp Rother & Jürgen Stark, 2011. "The Stability and Growth Pact: Crisis and Reform," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(3), pages 10-18, October.
  14. Kornai, Janos, 1986. "The Soft Budget Constraint," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 3-30.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alison Johnston & Bob Hancké & Suman Pant, 2013. "Comparative institutional advantage in the European sovereign debt crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 53177, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Thushyanthan Baskaran, 2013. "Do bailouts buy votes? Evidence from a panel of Hessian municipalities," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-278, August.
  3. Alison Johnston & Bob Hancké & Suman Pant, 2013. "Comparative Institutional Advantage in the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 66, European Institute, LSE.
  4. Alison Johnston & Bob Hancké & Suman Pant, 2013. "Comparative Institutional Advantage in the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," Europe in Question Discussion Paper Series of the London School of Economics (LEQs) 6, London School of Economics / European Institute.

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