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Normes sociales et politiques européennes

  • Jean-Paul Fitoussi
  • Francesco Saraceno

This paper reviews the debate on the Stability and Growth Pact. Both empirical and theoretical arguments in favour of the Pact are weak, to warrant a different and plausible (even if extreme) hypothesis: We suggest the view that the Stability Pact is a public social norm, obeyed by countries because of the fear of reputation losses. Our simple model shows that reputation issues may cause the emergence of a stable but inferior equilibrium. Within this framework, the enlargement to more undisciplined countries may worsen the problems posed by the Pact. JEL Classification: D63, D71, E62, E63.

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Article provided by Presses de Sciences-Po in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): n° 102 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 283-314

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Handle: RePEc:cai:reofsp:reof_102_0283
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  1. Francesco Caselli, 1998. "Fiscal Discipline and the Cost of Public Debt Service: Some Estimates for OECD Countries," IMF Working Papers 98/55, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
  4. Ardagna, Silvia & Caselli, Francesco & Lane, Timothy, 2004. "Fiscal discipline and the cost of public dept service: some estiames for OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0411, European Central Bank.
  5. Andersen, Torben M. & Sorensen, Jan Rose, 1995. "Unemployment and fiscal policy in an economic and monetary union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 27-43, March.
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