Debt rule federalism: The case of Germany
AbstractIn 2009, Germany introduced a new debt rule in its federal constitution (Grundgesetz). The socalled 'debt brake' prescribes a balanced budget for both the federal level and the states. However, the states have leeway regarding transposition and specification of the national requirements into their own state constitutions and budgetary laws. This analysis presents a comprehensive comparison of the 16 state provisions. We develop an indicator which quantifies the stringency of state rules (Strength of Fiscal Rule Indicator). Two results emerge: First, despite the common constitutional rule at the federal level, the analysis reveals a considerable heterogeneity across German states. Second, several highly indebted states miss the chance to make their fiscal regime more credible. This finding corresponds to the disincentives of the German federation. Due to bailout-guarantees enshrined in German federalism, German states do not have incentives to impress bond markets through particularly strict budgetary rules. --
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 12-067.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
fiscal rules; debt brake; Germany; fiscal federalism;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
- H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing
- H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-11-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2012-11-24 (European Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2012-11-24 (Public Economics)
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