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The Sustainability of Public Finanaces and Fiscal Policy Coordination in the EMU

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  • Juergen von Hagen

Abstract

The financial crisis of 2007-2009 led to a renewed increase in government deficits and debts in many EU countries, causing a full-fledged fiscal crisis in Greece and severe fiscal pressures in other euro-area countries. This has prompted a series of proposals for improving the fiscal framework of the European Monetary Union, the Excessive Deficit Procedure and the Stability and Growth Pact. The first part of this paper reviews the main properties and developments of that framework until 2007. On that basis, it discusses the recent proposals for reform, which range from marginal improvements of the existing framework to the introduction of an explicit framework for managing fiscal crises in the member states, and the expansion of the scope of policy coordination to address macro economic imbalances and the competitiveness of the member states. We find the proposal of a mechanism for dealing with government default most useful. Attempts to suppress current account imbalances and to target national competitiveness positions would most likely result in serious economic losses and do damage to the internal market of the EU. This would increase the wedge between members and non-members of the euro area.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research in its series CASE Network Studies and Analyses with number 412.

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Length: 55 Pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0412

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Keywords: Excessive Deficit Procedure; Stability and Growth Pact; Sovereign Default; Fiscal Crises;

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  1. von Hagen, Jürgen & Wolff, Guntram B., 2004. "What do deficits tell us about debt? Empirical evidence on creative accounting with fiscal rules in the EU," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,38, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  2. Beetsma, Roel & Debrun, Xavier, 2003. "Reconciling Stability and Growth: Smart Pacts and Structural Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3930, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Perotti, Roberto & Strauch, Rolf & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1997. "Sustainability of Public Finances," CEPR Discussion Papers 1781, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Marco Buti & Paul van den Noord, 2004. "Fiscal policy in EMU: Rules, discretion and political incentives," European Economy - Economic Papers 206, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  5. Roel M. W. J. Beetsma & Xavier Debrun, 2005. "Implementing the Stability and Growth Pact," IMF Working Papers 05/59, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Iulia Siedschlag & Juergen von Hagen, 2006. "Macroeconomic Adjustment in the New EU Member States," Chapters in SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.
  7. Stephan, Andreas & Brück, Tilman, 2005. "Do Eurozone Countries Cheat with their Budget Deficit Forecasts?," Working Paper Series 2005,5, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), The Postgraduate Research Programme Capital Markets and Finance in the Enlarged Europe.
  8. Jürgen von Hagen & Andrew Hughes Hallett & Rolf Strauch, 2001. "Budgetary Consolidation in EMU," European Economy - Economic Papers 148, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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