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Die Verschuldungskrise der Europäischen Währungsunion: fiskalische Disziplinlosigkeit oder Konstruktionsfehler?

Listed author(s):
  • Rainer Maurer
Registered author(s):

    This paper presents empirical arguments that the debt crisis of the European Monetary Union is not primarily a sovereign debt crisis but a foreign debt crisis of entire countries. The empirical evidence suggests furthermore that the strong increase in the net international debt position of Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal was caused by real interest rates, which were significantly lower as in the other EMU countries. The reasons for these lower real interest rates have been lasting inflation differentials in the presence of converging nominal interest rates. The paper shows, how such inflation differentials can lead to self-enforcing debt spirals, if not all goods are tradable. The economic policy conclusion from these findings is that the European Central Bank must receive instruments to differentiate country-specific nominal interest rates in order to prevent such debt-spirals in the future. In diesem Artikel wird auf der Basis empirischer Daten argumentiert, dass die Schuldenkrise der Europäischen Währungsunion entgegen verbreiteter Ansicht nicht von einem starken Anstieg der Schuldenstandsquote von Staaten, sondern von einem starken Anstieg der Nettoauslandsverschuldungsquote von Ländern verursacht wurde. Die Zahlen sprechen außerdem dafür, dass die hohe Nettoauslandsverschuldung von Griechenland, Irland, Spanien und Portugal vor allem deshalb entstanden ist, weil die Realzinsen in diesen Ländern deutlich niedriger waren als die Realzinsen in den anderen Mitgliedsländern der Europäischen Währungsunion. Verursacht wurden die niedrigen Realzinsen durch die mit dem Beginn der Währungsunion einsetzende Konvergenz der Nominalzinsen bei weitgehendem Fortbestand der Inflationsdifferenzen. Der Artikel zeigt, dass unter solchen Umständen sich selbst verstärkende Verschuldungsspiralen entstehen können, wenn nicht alle Güter handelbar sind. Die wirtschaftspolitische Schlussfolgerung lautet, dass die Europäische Zentralbank Instrumente zur länderspezifischen Differenzierung der Nominalzinsen erhalten muss, um solche Verschuldungsspiralen in Zukunft zu verhindern.

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    File URL: http://ejournals.duncker-humblot.de/DH/doi/pdf/10.3790/vjh.79.4.85
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    Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

    Volume (Year): 79 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 85-102

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    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:79-4-7
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    1. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
    2. Regling, Klaus & Deroose, Servaas & Felke, Reinhard & Kutos, Paul, 2010. "The Euro After Its First Decade: Weathering the Financial Storm and Enlarging the Euro Area," ADBI Working Papers 205, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    3. Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Labor Mobility and the Integration of European Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 3999, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Bernanke, B. & Gertler, M. & Gilchrist, S., 1998. "The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework," Working Papers 98-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    5. Anil Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "Monetary Policy and Bank Lending," NBER Working Papers 4317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Buiter, W.H. & Kletzer, K.M., 1992. "Government Solvency, Ponzi Finance and the Redundancy and Usefulness of Public Debt," Papers 659, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    7. Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens, 2010. "Ist Griechenland noch zu retten? Und der Euro?," Kiel Policy Brief 19, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Klaus Regling & Servaas Deroose & Reinhard Felke & Paul Kutos, 2010. "The Euro after its first decade: Weathering the financial storm and enlarging the Euro area," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 6(6), pages 943-984, September.
    9. Klaus Regling & Servaas Deroose & Reinhard Felke & Paul Kutos, 2010. "The Euro After Its First Decade : Weathering the Financial Storm and Enlarging the Euro Area," Governance Working Papers 22817, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    10. Michael Holz, 2007. "Asset-Based Reserve Requirements: A New Monetary Policy Instrument for Targeting Diverging Real Estate Prices in the Euro Area," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 4(2), pages 331-351.
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