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Toward a Mutualization of European Unemployment Insurance? On Limiting the Downsides of a Fiscal Transfer System for the Eurozone

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  • Shafik Hebous
  • Alfons Weichenrieder

Abstract

There is a large, yet growing debate about the need to complement the European monetary union with a stronger fiscal union. This article reviews the potential trade-offs between effectiveness, moral hazard problems, and permanent redistribution. Addressing the counter-arguments against a tighter fiscal union is essential to overcome the political reluctance in some member states that are concerned about large amounts of redistribution. We discuss clawback mechanisms that have been suggested in the literature as a measure to limit redistribution, but conclude that clawbacks are undesirable, as they would essentially destroy the insurance value of a fiscal union. Instead, we propose that a clearly defined exit option as a guarantee against involuntary redistribution can make entry into a stronger fiscal union less risky and hence more attractive for member states.

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  • Shafik Hebous & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2016. "Toward a Mutualization of European Unemployment Insurance? On Limiting the Downsides of a Fiscal Transfer System for the Eurozone," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 62(2), pages 376-395.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:62:y:2016:i:2:p:376-395.
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