IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

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.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    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

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:79-4-7
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Mohrenstraße 58, D-10117 Berlin

    Phone: xx49-30-89789-0
    Fax: xx49-30-89789-200
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:79-4-7. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.