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A simple and flexible alternative to the Stability and Growth Pact deficit ceilings. Is it at hand?

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  • V. Anton Muscatelli
  • Piergiovanna Natale

    ()

  • Patrizio Tirelli

    ()

Abstract

We use a simple theoretical model of a monetary union where myopic discretionary fiscal policies generate excessive debt accumulation in steady state and inefficiently delayed debt adjustment following a shock. We advocate the adoption of a flexible debt targeting approach. By setting a long-term debt target and by raising the political cost associated to deviations from the optimal pace of debt reversal following a shock¸ institutional design induces the fiscal policymaker to implement unbiased discretionary responses to shocks. Since the power to discipline fiscal policymakers rests in the hands of national voters, this outcome can be achieved by increasing the transparency of the decision-making process, where national voters understand the long-term consequences of fiscal policies. In practice, we call for clearer and more focused supervision tasks for the European Commission and for a more active role of national Parliaments whenever a disagreement arises between the Commission and a national government.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper195.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 195.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision: Jul 2010
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:195

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  1. 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.
  2. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "Interest-Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Working Papers 6618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bovenberg, A.L. & Beetsma, R.M.W.J., 1997. "Central Bank independence and public debt policy," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-74443, Tilburg University.
  4. Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2005. "Fiscal policy in EMU: towards a sustainability and growth pact," Working Papers 52, Bruegel.
  5. Tabellini, Guido, 1986. "Money, debt and deficits in a dynamic game," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 427-442, December.
  6. von Hagen, Jürgen & Mundschenk, Susanne, 2001. "The functioning of economic policy coordination," ZEI Working Papers B 08-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  7. Jensen, Henrik, 1994. "Loss of monetary discretion in a simple dynamic policy game," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(3-4), pages 763-779.
  8. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Rules and Discretion with Noncoordinated Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(4), pages 619-30, October.
  9. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Di Bartolomeo & Debora Di Gioacchino, 2005. "Fiscal-Monetary Policy Coordination And Debt Management: A Two Stage Dynamic Analysis," Macroeconomics 0504024, EconWPA.
  2. Kilian Bizer & Zulia Gubaydullina & Hazim Rahahleh & Werner Sesselmeier, 2007. "FTPL-Perspective on Tradable Deficit Permits in the EMU," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 35(3), pages 259-267, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Matthias Bauer & Martin Zenker, 2012. "Market Discipline Under A Politicised Multilateral Fiscal Rule - Lessons from the Stability and Growth Pact Debate," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 2012-35, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  5. Giovanni Di Bartolomeo & Debora Di Gioacchino, 2008. "Fiscal-monetary policy coordination and debt management: a two-stage analysis," Empirica, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 433-448, September.

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