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Why has the Stability and Growth Pact Failed?


  • Jakob de Haan
  • Helge Berger
  • David-Jan Jansen


This paper evaluates the Stability and Growth Pact. After briefly examining the rules in place and the experience so far, the Pact is analysed from a political economy perspective, focusing on the choice of hard versus soft law and drawing inferences from characteristics of successful fiscal rules at the state level in the USA. The main argument of the paper is that the Pact's enforcement mechanisms are too weak. It is also argued that big countries are less likely to adhere to the fiscal policy rules in place. Reform of the Pact should aim at stricter, instead of more flexible, rules and should not rely on cyclically adjusted deficit estimates. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Jakob de Haan & Helge Berger & David-Jan Jansen, 2004. "Why has the Stability and Growth Pact Failed?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 235-260, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:intfin:v:7:y:2004:i:2:p:235-260

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "The revived Bretton Woods system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 307-313.
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    3. Hernandez, Leonardo & Montiel, Peter J., 2003. "Post-crisis exchange rate policy in five Asian countries: Filling in the "hollow middle"?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 336-369, September.
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    5. Eric Hillebrand & Gunther Schnabl, 2003. "The Effects of Japanese Foreign Exchange Intervention: GARCH Estimation and Change Point Detection," Departmental Working Papers 2003-09, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    6. Rishi Goyal & Ronald McKinnon, 2003. "Japan's Negative Risk Premium in Interest Rates: The Liquidity Trap and the Fall in Bank Lending," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 339-363, March.
    7. Schnabl, Gunther, 2003. "China: a stabilizing or deflationary influence in East Asia?The problem of conflicted virtue," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 263, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
    8. Glick, Reuven & Rose, Andrew K., 1999. "Contagion and trade: Why are currency crises regional?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 603-617, August.
    9. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    10. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2004. "The East Asian Dollar Standard, Fear of Floating, and Original Sin," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 331-360, August.
    11. Takatoshi Ito & Anne O. Krueger, 1994. "Macroeconomic Linkage: Savings, Exchange Rates, and Capital Flows, NBER-EASE Volume 3," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_94-1, January.
    12. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1994. "Yen Bloc or Dollar Bloc? Exchange Rate Policies of the East Asian Economies," NBER Chapters,in: Macroeconomic Linkage: Savings, Exchange Rates, and Capital Flows, NBER-EASE Volume 3, pages 295-333 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini & Cedric Tille, 1999. "Competitive devaluations: a welfare-based approach," Staff Reports 58, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    14. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 329-368.
    15. Schnabl, Gunther & Baur, Dirk, 2002. "Purchasing power parity: Granger causality tests for the yen-dollar exchange rate," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 425-444, December.
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    18. Fernald, John & Edison, Hali & Loungani, Prakash, 1999. "Was China the first domino? Assessing links between China and other Asian economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 515-535, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hans-Bernd Schäfer, 2012. "The Sovereign Debt Crisis in Europe, Save Banks Not States," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 9(2), pages 179-195, August.
    2. Giuliodori, Massimo & Beetsma, Roel, 2008. "On the relationship between fiscal plans in the European Union: An empirical analysis based on real-time data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 221-242, June.
    3. Jochen O. Mierau & Eduard Suari Andreu, 2014. "Fiscal Rules and Government Size in the European Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 4693, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Jakob Haan & Jeroen Klomp, 2013. "Conditional political budget cycles: a review of recent evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 387-410, December.
    5. repec:dgr:rugsom:14009-eef is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Christian Fahrholz & Cezary Wójcik, 2010. "The Bail-Out! Positive Political Economics of Greek-type Crises in the EMU," CESifo Working Paper Series 3178, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Mark Mink & Jakob de Haan, 2005. "Has the Stability and Growth Pact Impeded Political Budget Cycles in the European Union?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1532, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Baerg, Nicole Rae & Hallerberg, Mark, 2014. "Rule Bending in International Organizations: Explaining Instability in the Stability and Growth Pact," MPRA Paper 18084, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Niels Gilbert & Jeroen Hessel & Silvie Verkaart, 2013. "Towards a Stable Monetary Union: What Role for Eurobonds?," DNB Working Papers 379, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    10. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i::p:118-132 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Amtenbrink Fabian & Repasi René & De Haan Jakob, 2016. "Is there Life in the Old Dog Yet? Observations on the Political Economy and Constitutional Viability of Common Debt Issuing in the Euro Area," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 605-633, November.
    12. Paolo Biraschi, "undated". "Searching for the optimal EMU fiscal rule:an ex-post analysis of the SGP reform proposals," Working Papers wp2008-7, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
    13. Jakob de Haan & Niels D. Gilbert & Jeroen Hessel & Silvie Verkaart, 2013. "How to Enforce Fiscal Discipline in EMU: A Proposal," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(II), pages 205-217, June.
    14. Jochen Mierau & Richard Jong-A-Pin & Jakob de Haan, 2007. "Do political variables affect fiscal policy adjustment decisions? New empirical evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 297-319, December.
    15. Ioannou, Demosthenes & Stracca, Livio, 2014. "Have the euro area and EU governance worked? Just the facts," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 1-17.

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