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External Imbalances and Fiscal Fragility in the Euro Area

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  • 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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    Cited by:

    1. Fratianni, Michele & Giri, Federico, 2017. "The tale of two great crises," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 5-31.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Michele Fratianni & John Pattison, 2014. "Basel III, Clubs and Eurozone Asymmetries," Working Papers 2014-10, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    5. 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.
    6. Wildmer Daniel Gregori & Wildmer Agnese Sacchi, 2016. "Has the Grexit news spilled over into euro area financial markets? The role of domestic political leaders, supranational executives and institutions," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 134, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    7. 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.
    8. Esposito, Piero & Messori, Marcello, 2019. "Competitive or recession gains? On the recent macroeconomic rebalances in the EMU," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 147-167.
    9. Gregori, Wildmer Daniel & Sacchi, Agnese, 2019. "Has the Grexit news affected euro area financial markets?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 71-84.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Valeriya Dinger & Sven Steinkamp & Frank Westermann, 2014. "The Tragedy of the Commons and Inflation Bias in the Euro Area," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 71-91, February.
    13. Maria do Rosario CORREIA & Christian GOKUS & Andrew Hughes HALLETT & Christian R. RICHTER, 2016. "A Dynamic Analysis of the Determinants of the Greek Credit Default Swaps," Journal of Economics and Political Economy, KSP Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 350-376, June.
    14. Aurore Burietz & Loredana Ureche - Rangau, 2016. "A modern Dionysus' tale: new evidence on the Greek debt crisis and the related costs," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(4), pages 1938-1950.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Pietro Alessandrini, Michele Fratianni, 2015. "In the absence of fiscal union, the Eurozone needs a more flexible monetary policy," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 68(275), pages 279-296.
    18. Michele Fratianni & Francesco Marchionne, 2015. "De-leveraging, de-risking and moral suasion in the banking sector," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 103, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    19. Paweł Tobera, 2019. "Ocena ratingowa a koszt obsługi długu publicznego w krajach Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej w latach 2005–2017," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 1, pages 87-109.
    20. Schilirò, Daniele, 2017. "Imbalances and policies in the Eurozone," MPRA Paper 82847, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sovereign yield spreads; External imbalances; Adjustment burden; Monetary union; F32; F42; G12; H63;

    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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