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On Prosperity and Posterity: The Need for Fiscal Discipline in a Monetary Union

Author

Listed:
  • Carsten Detken

    (European Central Bank)

  • Vítor Gaspar

    (European Central Bank)

  • Bernhard Winkler

    (European Central Bank)

Abstract

We show how in a Blanchard-Yaari, overlapping generations framework, perfect substitutability of government bonds in Monetary Union tempts governments to exploit the enlarged common pool of savings. In Nash equilibrium all governments increase their bond financed transfers to current generations (prosperity effect) at the expense of future generations (posterity effect). The resulting deficit bias occurs even if one assumes that before Monetary Union countries had eliminated their deficit bias by designing appropriate domestic institutions. The paper provides a rationale for an increased focus on fiscal discipline in Monetary Union, without the need to assume imperfect credibility of existing Treaty provisions or to refer to extreme situations involving sovereign default. We draw on existing empirical evidence to argue that the degree of government bond substitutability within the European Monetary Union is an order of magnitude larger than in the global economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Carsten Detken & Vítor Gaspar & Bernhard Winkler, 2005. "On Prosperity and Posterity: The Need for Fiscal Discipline in a Monetary Union," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 30, Departamento de Economia, Gestão e Engenharia Industrial, Universidade de Aveiro.
  • Handle: RePEc:ave:wpaper:302005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean‐Paul Fitoussi & Francesco Saraceno, 2008. "Fiscal Discipline as a Social Norm: The European Stability Pact," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(6), pages 1143-1168, December.
    2. Benczes, Istvan, 2011. "Rules-based economic governance in the European Union: A reappraisal of national fiscal rules," MPRA Paper 34912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/1482 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Lim, Jamus Jerome, 2020. "The political economy of fiscal procyclicality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    5. Cooper, R. & Kempf, H. & Peled, D., 2009. "Monetary rules and the spillover of regional fiscal policies in a federation," Working papers 233, Banque de France.
    6. Philipp Paulus, 2006. "Brüssel, Frankfurt oder Basel - Wo muss das Problem steigender Staatsschulden in der Europäischen Währungsunion gelöst werden?," Otto-Wolff-Institut Discussion Paper Series 01/2006, Otto-Wolff-Institut für Wirtschaftsordnung, Köln, Deutschland.
    7. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/9909 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. António Afonso, 2007. "Public finances in Portugal: a brief longrun view," Working Papers Department of Economics 2007/01, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    9. Otmar Issing, 2006. "Europe’s hard fix: the Euro area," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 181-196, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal spillover effects; common pool; overlapping generations; bond market integration; fiscal discipline; fiscal rules; European Monetary Union;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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