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Should Europe Become a Fiscal Union?

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  • Keuschnigg, Christian

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Abstract

Moving towards a fiscal union does not address the problems of divergence in Europe. Given cultural heterogeneity and diverse preferences, fiscal policy should remain under national sovereignty while important regulatory power is assigned to the Union. The paper argues that more credible fiscal rules combined with tighter surveillance reduce negative policy spillovers. A better capitalized banking sector imposes more market discipline with sovereign risk-premia. Institutional lending by the ESM (European Stabilization Mechanism) to distressed countries is subject to strict conditionality and will impose structural adjustment that was neglected ex ante. Further reform seems necessary to strengthen the financial capacity and institutional independence of the ESM and to impose tighter regulation and more ambitious recapitalization of European banks to contain cross-country contagion on financial markets. Such reform should prevent or at least much reduce the negative consequences of national decision making on other member countries and would in turn support the political goals of establishing peace and harmony in Europe.

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File URL: http://www1.vwa.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1205.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1205.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2012:05

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Keywords: Fiscal crisis; fiscal rules; common currency area;

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  1. Martin S. Feldstein, 2011. "The Euro and European Economic Conditions," NBER Working Papers 17617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. C. Randall Henning & Martin Kessler, 2012. "Fiscal Federalism: US History for Architects of Europe's Fiscal Union," Working Paper Series WP12-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  3. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  4. Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2012. "Target loans, current account balances and capital flows: the ECB’s rescue facility," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 468-508, August.
  5. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Costs and Benefits of the EMU and Other Monetary Unions: An Overview of Recent Research," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 603-41, September.
  6. De Grauwe, Paul, 2011. "Governance of a Fragile Eurozone," CEPS Papers 5523, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  7. Michael D. Bordo & Agnieszka Markiewicz & Lars Jonung, 2011. "A Fiscal Union for the Euro: Some Lessons from History," NBER Working Papers 17380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Andr� Sapir, 2011. "European Integration at the Crossroads: A Review Essay on the 50th Anniversary of Bela Balassa's Theory of Economic Integration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1200-1229, December.
  9. Benedicta Marzinotto & André Sapir & Guntram B. Wolff, 2011. "What kind of fiscal union?," Policy Briefs 646, Bruegel.
  10. ,, 2009. "Economics of Monetary Union," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 8, number 9780199563234.
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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Clemens Fuest & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "Fiscal union in Europe? Redistributive and stabilizing effects of a European tax-benefit system and fiscal equalization mechanism," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 28(75), pages 375-422, 07.
  2. Neumann, Dirk & Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Fiscal Union in Europe? Efficiency, Equity and Stabilizing Effects of an EU-Wide Income Tax," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 66063, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Neumann, Dirk & Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2012. "Fiscal Union in Europe? Redistributive and Stabilising Effects of an EU Tax-Benefit System," EUROMOD Working Papers EM6/12, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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