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Warum verstoßen vorwiegend die großen EWU-Länder gegen den Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt?: Eine theoretische Beweisaufnahme

  • Bodo Herzog

The Stability and Growth Pact - who does not know it? The need for reforming the Stability and Growth Pact became more and more obvious in the year 2002. The big countries as Germany and France are in systematic breach of the rules within the Stability and Growth Pact. They are likely to do so again in 2004. Moreover, when the President of the European Commission calls the fiscal rules of the Stability and Growth Pact "stupid" and "rigid" it is clear that changes to the Pact are in the air. So we can conclude that everybody in Europe knows something goes wrong with the current fiscal framework and especially with the Stability and Growth Pact because Ecofin is unlikely to vote in favour of imposing sanctions. Since these events, there is a huge reform discussion about reforming the Stability and Growth Pact. But the theoretical fundament of the main arguments in the reform discussion is pretty vague. In this article I will identify the key issues and relevant trade-offs that are essential for designing appropriate fiscal policy rules at the EMU and national level. Now it is time to overcome the clearly pre-embryonic state and to look for an appropriate fiscal framework, which cures the main problems and drawbacks, particularly the current rules of the Stability and Growth Pact. Spätestens seit dem Scheitern der Frühwarnung im Februar 2002 und dem Aussetzen des Defizitverfahrens gegenüber Deutschland auf der Sitzung des Ecofin-Rates im November 2003 erlangte der Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt öffentliches Aufsehen. Die Frage, warum gerade die großen Länder wie Deutschland und Frankreich gegen die 3 %-Defizithürde verstoßen, wirft so manches Rätsel auf, auch wenn Deutschland nicht alleine in der Riege der Defizitsünder ist. Hinzu kamen in jüngster Zeitauch Äußerungen, die in der politischen Arena für Wirbel und Furore sorgten. So sagte der Kommissionspräsident der Europäischen Union, Romano Prodi, in der Zeitung Le Monde: "Der Pakt ist dumm - wie alle Regeln, die rigide sind". Seitdem ist klar: Eine Reform des Stabilitätspaktes liegt in der Luft. Die Reformdiskussion, die heftig und kontrovers geführt wird, ist mittlerweile selbst für Insider kaum noch zu überschauen. Darüber hinaus gibt es bis heute keine vernünftige ökonomische Theorie, die die Defizit- und Schuldengrenzwerte erklären könnte. Diese Tatsache führt unweigerlich zu dem Problem, dass vielen Argumenten in der Reformdiskussion ein theoretisches Fundament fehlt. Im vorliegenden Beitrag werden deshalb ein Überblick über die theoretischen Erklärungsansätze für den Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt gegeben sowie deren Reformansätze diskutiert. Im Zentrum stehen dabei folgende Fragen: 1. Was ist eine optimale Regel für einen heterogenen Währungsraum? 2. Warum verstoßen bislang vorwiegend große Länder gegen den Stabilitätspakt?

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Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

Volume (Year): 73 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 405-417

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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:73-30-7
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  1. Uhlig, Harald, 2002. "One Money, but Many Fiscal Policies in Europe: What Are the Consequences?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3296, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:4:p:1419-1447 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Xavier Debrun, 2000. "Fiscal Rules in a Monetary Union: A Short-Run Analysis," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 323-358, October.
  4. J. de Haan & H. Berger & D. Jansen, 2003. "The end of the stability and growth pact?," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 748, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  5. Avinash Dixit & Luisa Lambertini, 2003. "Interactions of Commitment and Discretion in Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 575, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Bovenberg, A. Lans, 1999. "Does monetary unification lead to excessive debt accumulation?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 299-325, December.
  7. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2003. "On the desirability of fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Staff Report 330, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Bovenberg, A. Lans, 2003. "Strategic debt accumulation in a heterogeneous monetary union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-15, March.
  9. Bodo HERZOG, . "European Monetary Union and Fiscal Policy Sustainability," EcoMod2004 330600067, EcoMod.
  10. Beetsma, Roel & Uhlig, Harald, 1999. "An Analysis of the Stability and Growth Pact," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 546-71, October.
  11. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2002. "The Case for Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," CEPR Discussion Papers 3277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Marco Buti & Gabriele Giudice, 2002. "Maastricht's Fiscal Rules at Ten: An Assessment," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 823-848, December.
  13. Dixit, Avinash & Lambertini, Luisa, 2001. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and commitment versus discretion in a monetary union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 977-987, May.
  14. Dixit, Avinash, 2001. "Games of monetary and fiscal interactions in the EMU," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 589-613, May.
  15. Ohr, Renate & Schmidt, André, 2003. "Der Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt im Zielkonflikt zwischen fiskalischer Flexibilität und Glaubwürdigkeit: Ein Reformansatz unter Berücksichtigung konstitutionen- und institutionenökonomischer Aspekte," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 19, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  16. Beetsma, Roel & Jensen, Henrik, 2003. "Contingent deficit sanctions and moral hazard with a stability pact," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 187-208, October.
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