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Politiques macroéconomiques et réformes structurelles : Bilan et perspectives de la gouvernance économique au sein de l'Union Européenne


  • Jean-Paul Fitoussi
  • Jean-Luc Gaffard
  • Francesco Saraceno


The run up to the euro has been characterized by soft growth especially in the largest countries of the zone. This disappointing performance is often imputed to the insufficient extent of structural reforms in labour and product markets. The ECB conduct of monetary policy, and the Stability and Growth Pact, would on the other hand have no negative role in the growth performance of euro zone countries. The financial crisis while calling for a temporary softening of the constraints (notably on fiscal policy), would also confirm that monetary policy was more virtuous in the euro zone than in the United States. This article proposes a radically different interpretation. We argue that soft growth is the consequence of restrictive macroeconomic policies. These are not linked to the existence of the euro per se, that in fact has helped growth by minimizing monetary perturbations, but rather to the political compromise that led to the current institutions for the economic government of Europe. This compromise imposed rules for monetary and fiscal neutrality while pushing for structural reforms whose main objective was to impose a new norm on the distribution of wealth. Putting in place the appropriate policies for growth requires rethinking this norm, and the financial crisis may be an opportunity to do so.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Jean-Luc Gaffard & Francesco Saraceno, 2010. "Politiques macroéconomiques et réformes structurelles : Bilan et perspectives de la gouvernance économique au sein de l'Union Européenne," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 120(2), pages 247-268.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_202_0247

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Employment protection, international specialization, and innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 375-395, February.
    2. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2005. "Trade, Growth and the Size of Countries," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1499-1542 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Claude Barbier & Arnaud Lechevalier, 2015. "La crise de la zone Euro : quels enseignements pour l’Europe sociale ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01254229, HAL.
    2. Jean-Claude, Barbier and Fabrice Colomb, 2012. "EU Law as Janus bifrons, a sociological approach to 'Social Europe'," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 16, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook


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