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Die Verschuldungskrise der Europäischen Währungsunion: fiskalische Disziplinlosigkeit oder Konstruktionsfehler?

  • Rainer Maurer
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    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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    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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