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Fiscal federalism in crisis: lessons for Europe from the US

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  • Zsolt Darvas

Abstract

The euro area is facing crisis, while the US is not, though the overall fiscal situation and outlook is better in the euro area than in the US, and though the US faces serious state-level fiscal crises. The focus on the euro area is a consequence of the Greek solvency problem, fear of contagion, the ambiguous policy response and institutional deficiencies. A higher level of fiscal federalism would strengthen the euro area, not least because it could help to constrain member state-level fiscal policy, allow the resolution of banking issues, and would give less opportunity for conflicting responses. But a higher level of fiscal federalism is not inevitable. Current fiscal reform proposals (strengthening of current rules, more policy coordination and an emergency financing mechanism) will if implemented result in some improvements. But implementation might be deficient or lack credibility, and could lead to disputes and carry a significant political risk. Introduction of a Eurobond covering up to 60 percent of member states’ GDP would bring about much greater levels of fiscal discipline than any other proposal, would create an attractive Eurobond market, and would deliver a strong message about the irreversible nature of European integration.

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  • Zsolt Darvas, 2010. "Fiscal federalism in crisis: lessons for Europe from the US," Policy Contributions 420, Bruegel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bre:polcon:420
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jakob von Weizsäcker & Jacques Delpla, 2010. "The Blue Bond Proposal," Policy Briefs 403, Bruegel.
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    Cited by:

    1. Armin Steinbach, 2015. "The Mutualisation of Sovereign Debt: Comparing the American Past and the European Present," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2015_02, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Handler, Heinz, 2013. "The eurozone: piecemeal approach to an optimum currency area," MPRA Paper 67183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. aus dem Moore, Nils, 2010. "Eine Wirtschaftsregierung für Europa? Die EU braucht bessere governance, aber kein gouvernement économique," RWI Positionen 41, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    4. Costain, James & de Blas, Beatriz, 2012. "The role of fiscal delegation in a monetary union: a survey of the political economy issues," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2012/11, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
    5. repec:zbw:rwipos:041 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Zsolt Darvas, 2012. "The euro crisis: ten roots, but fewer solutions," Policy Contributions 755, Bruegel.
    7. Nils aus dem Moore, 2010. "Eine Wirtschaftsregierung für Europa? – Die EU braucht bessere governance, aber kein gouvernement économique," RWI Positionen, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 24, December.
    8. Lannoo, Karel, 2011. "EU Federalism in Crisis," CEPS Papers 6498, Centre for European Policy Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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