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Fiscal sustainability and policy implications: a post-crisis analysis for the euro area

Author

Listed:
  • Fabrizio Balassone
  • Jorge Cunha
  • Geert Langenus
  • Bernhard Manzke
  • Jeanne Pavot
  • Doris Prammer
  • Pietro Tommasino

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the sustainability of euro area public finances against the backdrop of population ageing after the 2008–2009 recession. We argue that ageing costs may be higher than projected by the Working Group on Ageing Populations (AWG) of the EU's Economic Policy Committee, consider alternative indicators to quantify sustainability gaps for euro area countries and assess the appropriateness of different budgetary strategies to restore fiscal sustainability taking into account intergenerational equity. Our stylised analysis based upon lifetime contributions to the government's primary balance of different generations suggests that an important pre-funding of ageing costs is necessary to avoid shifting the burden of adjustment in a disproportionate manner to future generations. For many euro area countries this implies that the medium-term targets defined in the context of the revised Stability and Growth Pact would ideally need to be revised upwards to obtain significant surpluses.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabrizio Balassone & Jorge Cunha & Geert Langenus & Bernhard Manzke & Jeanne Pavot & Doris Prammer & Pietro Tommasino, 2011. "Fiscal sustainability and policy implications: a post-crisis analysis for the euro area," International Journal of Sustainable Economy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(2), pages 210-234.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijsuse:v:3:y:2011:i:2:p:210-234
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. M. Nautet & L. Van Meensel, 2011. "Economic impact of the public debt," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue ii, pages 7-19, September.
    2. Christophe Van Nieuwenhuyze, 2013. "Debt, assets and imbalances in the euro area. An aggregate view," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 123-152.
    3. Markus Eller & Jarmila Urvová, 2012. "How Sustainable Are Public Debt Levels in Emerging Europe?," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 48-79.
    4. Prammer, Doris, 2019. "How does population ageing impact on personal income taxes and social security contributions?," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).
    5. Klaus Weyerstrass & Reinhard Neck, 2013. "A young EU member’s ageing: budgetary and macroeconomic consequences of Slovenia’s demographic prospects," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 427-456, August.
    6. A. Bruggeman & Ch. Van Nieuwenhuyze, 2013. "Size and dynamics of debt positions in Belgium and in the euro area," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue i, pages 57-77, June.
    7. Primož Dolenc & Suzana Laporšek, 2012. "Taxing wages and sustainable labour market performance: empirical evidence from OECD and EU countries," International Journal of Sustainable Economy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(3), pages 234-253.

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