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Anwendung des Nachhaltigkeitsansatzes von Bohn zur Etablierung eines Frühindikators in den öffentlichen Finanzen Beitrag zur aktuellen Debatte der Föderalismuskommission II

Author

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  • Bodo Herzog

    (Professor für Volkswirtschaftslehre, ESB Business School der Hochschule Reutlingen, Alteburgstraße 150, D-72762 Reutlingen)

Abstract

The question of whether public debt in Europe’s largest economy is sustainable in the long run has received great attention. After all, Germany breached the three percent deficit threshold of the “Stability and Growth Pact” in four successive years, i. e. from 2002 to 2005. In this paper I investigate whether German public finances – Federal and all State governments – have been sustainable during the last four decades. This means finding answers to the following questions: How have German governments reacted to the accumulation of approximately 1.5 billion euro of debt? Have they taken corrective action, or have they let the debt grow? Closer empirical discussion of these questions is also important because of the recent political discussion and new institutional proposals to limit future debt policy by the federal commission (“Föderalismuskommission”). My paper is the first to empirically analyse the sustainability of fiscal policy in Federal Government (“Bund”) and the Federal States (“Länder”). I analyse debt behaviour in Germany on the basis of a unique and newly constructed data sample covering 1970 to 2005. The results are surprising: Fiscal policy is far more sustainable than originally supposed. My paper is the first to apply Bohn’s sustainability criteria to Germany and two Federal States – Baden-Württemberg and Berlin.

Suggested Citation

  • Bodo Herzog, 2010. "Anwendung des Nachhaltigkeitsansatzes von Bohn zur Etablierung eines Frühindikators in den öffentlichen Finanzen Beitrag zur aktuellen Debatte der Föderalismuskommission II," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 43(2), pages 183-206.
  • Handle: RePEc:kuk:journl:v:43:y:2010:i:2:p:183-206
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Homburg, Stefan, 1992. "Efficient Economic Growth," EconStor Books, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 92903.
    2. Diamond, Peter, 1996. "Generational Accounts and Generational Balance: An Assessment," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 597-607, December.
    3. Andrew B. Abel & N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1989. "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19.
    4. Hamilton, James D & Flavin, Marjorie A, 1986. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for EmpiricalTesting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 808-819, September.
    5. Diamond, Peter, 1996. "Generational Accounts and Generational Balance: An Assessment," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 597-607, December.
    6. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior of U. S. Public Debt and Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963.
    7. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    8. Wilcox, David W, 1989. "The Sustainability of Government Deficits: Implications of the Present-Value Borrowing Constraint," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(3), pages 291-306, August.
    9. Bohn, Henning, 1995. "The Sustainability of Budget Deficits in a Stochastic Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 257-271, February.
    10. Buiter, Willem H, 1997. "Generational Accounts, Aggregate Saving and Intergenerational Distribution," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(256), pages 605-626, November.
    11. Robert Haveman, 1994. "Should Generational Accounts Replace Public Budgets and Deficits?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 95-111, Winter.
    12. Feist, Karen & Raffelhüschen, Bernd, 2000. "Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Generationenbilanzierung," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1949 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 80(7), pages 440-448.
    13. Hagist, Christian & Raffelhüschen, Bernd & Weddige, Olaf, 2006. "Brandmelder der Zukunft: Die Generationenbilanz 2004," FZG Discussion Papers 12, University of Freiburg, Research Center for Generational Contracts (FZG).
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    Cited by:

    1. Burret, Heiko T. & Feld, Lars P. & Köhler, Ekkehard A., 2016. "(Un-)Sustainability of Public Finances in German Laender: A Panel Time Series Approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 254-265.
    2. Köhler, Ekkehard, 2015. "Fiscal Sustainability in Cross-Dependent Panels: Evidence from the German L nder," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113104, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Heiko T. Burret & Lars P. Feld & Ekkehard A. Köhler, 2017. "Fiscal Sustainability of the German Länder: Time-Series Evidence," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 73(1), pages 103-132, March.
    4. Niklas Potrafke & Markus Reischmann, 2015. "Fiscal Transfers and Fiscal Sustainability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(5), pages 975-1005, August.
    5. Heiko T. Burret & Lars P. Feld & Ekkehard A. Köhler, 2014. "Panel Cointegration Tests on the Fiscal Sustainability of German Laender," CESifo Working Paper Series 4929, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Niklas Potrafke & Markus Reischmann, 2012. "Fiscal Equalization Schemes and Fiscal Sustainability," CESifo Working Paper Series 3948, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. repec:rss:jnljee:v4i4p2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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