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Fiscal Institutions in Germany

Listed author(s):
  • Heiko T. Burret
  • Lars P. Feld

In 2009 Germany introduced a new fiscal rule in its Basic Law. It stipulates that the federal budget must be (structurally) close to balance from 2016 onwards and does not allow (structural) budget deficits in the Laender (states') budgets after 2019. While the already existing debt brakes at the Laender level have relatively wide loopholes, six states do not even seriously consider the introduction of new fiscal rules. In fact, only 9 of the 16 Laender as well as the federal level passed binding consolidation plans. Despite historically high revenues in 2011, most states ran deficits and increased public debt. In this paper, we analyze the German debt brakes at the federal and the Laender levels and assess the probability that the German jurisdictions manage to comply with the constitutional requirements of its debt brake.

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Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 149 (2013)
Issue (Month): II (June)
Pages: 249-290

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Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2013-ii-10
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  4. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 37-49, March.
  5. Feld Lars P. & Baskaran Thushyanthan, 2010. "Federalism, Budget Deficits and Public Debt: On the Reform of Germany's Fiscal Constitution," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 365-393, December.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  7. Burret Heiko T. & Köhler Ekkehard A. & Feld Lars P., 2013. "Sustainability of Public Debt in Germany – Historical Considerations and Time Series Evidence," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(3), pages 291-335, June.
  8. 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.
  9. Michael W.M. Roos, 2007. "Die makroökonomischen Wirkungen diskretionärer Fiskalpolitik in Deutschland - Was wissen wir empirisch?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(4), pages 293-308, November.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
  11. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Feld, Lars P., 2009. "Do large cabinets favor large governments? Evidence on the fiscal commons problem for Swiss Cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 35-47, February.
  12. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
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