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Die Verschuldungskrise der Europäischen Währungsunion: fiskalische Disziplinlosigkeit oder Konstruktionsfehler?

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  • Rainer Maurer

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rainer Maurer, 2010. "Die Verschuldungskrise der Europäischen Währungsunion: fiskalische Disziplinlosigkeit oder Konstruktionsfehler?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 79(4), pages 85-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:79-4-7
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    File URL: http://ejournals.duncker-humblot.de/DH/doi/pdf/10.3790/vjh.79.4.85
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Anil K. Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Bank Lending," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy, pages 221-261 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    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 F. Zimmermann, 2009. "Labour Mobility and the Integration of European Labour Markets," Chapters,in: The Integration of European Labour Markets, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    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," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 6(6), pages 943-984, September.
    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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    Cited by:

    1. Klodt, Henning, 2011. "Ist die Währungsunion zu retten? Für einen anreizeffizienten Krisenmechanismus," Kiel Working Papers 1690, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    2. Smeets Heinz-Dieter & Schmid Anita, 2014. "Europäische Staatsschuldenkrise, Lender of last resort und Bankenunion / European sovereign debt crisis, lender of last resort and banking union," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 65(1), pages 47-74, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    EMU-debt crisis; currency union; debt spiral; monetary policy; fiscal policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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