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External Imbalances and Fiscal Fragility in the Euro Area

Author

Listed:
  • Pietro Alessandrini
  • Michele Fratianni
  • Andrew Hughes Hallett
  • Andrea Presbitero

Abstract

This paper presents two views of the European sovereign debt crisis. The first is that countries in the South of the Eurozone were fiscally irresponsible and failed to implement pro-competitive supply side policies. The second view holds that the crisis reflects a deep divide between the external surpluses of the North and external deficits of the South. Basic stylized facts cast doubt on the explanation based on the first thesis alone. A relatively simple model shows how poor fundamentals can create a debt problem independently of fiscal responsibility. The empirical analysis of the determinants of government bond yield spreads relative to Germany suggests that both views in fact provide useful insights into the roots of the current sovereign crisis. However, differences in growth and competitiveness and capital flows between North and South have assumed a much more dominant role since the onset of the global crisis. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Pietro Alessandrini & Michele Fratianni & Andrew Hughes Hallett & Andrea Presbitero, 2014. "External Imbalances and Fiscal Fragility in the Euro Area," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 3-34, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:25:y:2014:i:1:p:3-34
    DOI: 10.1007/s11079-013-9305-5
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    3. Debarsy, Nicolas & Dossougoin, Cyrille & Ertur, Cem & Gnabo, Jean-Yves, 2018. "Measuring sovereign risk spillovers and assessing the role of transmission channels: A spatial econometrics approach," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 21-45.
    4. António Afonso, & Manuel Reis, 2016. "Revisiting Sovereign Bond Spreads’Determinants in the EMU," Working Papers Department of Economics 2016/08, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    5. Pucar Emilija Beker & Glavaški Olgica, 2019. "Macroeconomic Еxternal (Im)Balances within the Eurozone: Core Vs Periphery," Economic Themes, Sciendo, vol. 57(3), pages 257-272, September.
    6. Schilirò, Daniele, 2017. "Imbalances and policies in the Eurozone," MPRA Paper 82847, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Fratianni, Michele & Giri, Federico, 2017. "The tale of two great crises," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 5-31.
    8. Canofari, Paolo & Di Bartolomeo, Giovanni, 2017. "Regime switches under policy uncertainty in monetary unions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 124-132.
    9. Benedetta Bianchi, 2016. "Sovereign Risk Premia and the International Balance Sheet: Lessons from the European Crisis," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 471-493, July.
    10. Serranito, Francisco, 2015. "Dévaluation interne, politiques structurelles et réductions des déficits publics : les réponses apportées par la « troïka » sont-elles un remède aux déséquilibres externes des pays périphériques de la," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 18.
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    12. Esposito, Piero & Messori, Marcello, 2016. "Improved Structural Competitiveness or Deep Recession? On the recent macroeconomic rebalances in the EMU," SEP Working Papers 2016/3, LUISS School of European Political Economy.
    13. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Martinez Oliva, Juan Carlos, 2015. "The importance of trade and capital imbalances in the European debt crisis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 229-252.
    14. Fratianni, Michele & Marchionne, Francesco, 2017. "Bank asset reallocation and sovereign debt," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 15-32.
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    17. Michele Fratianni & John Pattison, 2014. "Basel III, Clubs and Eurozone Asymmetries," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 94, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
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    21. Demopoulos, George D. & Yannacopoulos, Nicholas A., 2016. "Why macroeconomic coordination may not be possible in a monetary union: A game theoretic approach," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 69-73.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sovereign yield spreads; External imbalances; Adjustment burden; Monetary union; F32; F42; G12; H63;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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