Saving Europe's Automatic Stabilizers
European policy makers have repeatedly suggested that fiscal-policy coordination and fiscal federalism will play key roles in Europe's monetary union. This paper warns that this hope is misplaced. Fiscal federalism will not be available to offset recessionary shocks for the foreseeable future. The effects of coordination designed to internalize the cross-border spillovers of fiscal policies are too weak. Freeing up fiscal policy to replace national governments' loss of monetary independence requires allowing European countries' automatic stabilizers to operate. That in turn requires a flexible application of the Excessive Deficit Procedure and the Stability Pact. The solution suggested here is that the Excessive Deficit Procedure and any fines and sanctions associated with the Stability Pact be applied to the constant-employment budget balance, not the actual deficit. Applying them to actual deficits when European countries enter EMU up against the 3 per cent limit will render fiscal policy strongly procyclical, aggravating the problem of macroeconomic fragility created by the loss of monetary autonomy. Still, countries like Germany haunted by the specter of fiscal profligacy need to be reassured that member states will not abuse their fiscal discretion. Procedural and institutional reform to offset the deficit bias in national political systems is the obvious quid pro quo.
|Date of creation:||01 Nov 1996|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: F502 Haas, Berkeley CA 94720-1922|
Phone: (510) 642-1922
Fax: (510) 642-5018
Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/iber_cider/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- von Hagen, Jurgen & Hammond, George W, 1998.
"Regional Insurance against Asymmetric Shocks: An Empirical Study for the European Community,"
The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies,
University of Manchester, vol. 66(3), pages 331-353, June.
- Hammond, George & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1995. "Regional Insurance Against Asymmetric Shocks. An Empirical Study for the European Community," CEPR Discussion Papers 1170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- repec:crs:wpaper:9219 is not listed on IDEAS
- Eichengreen, Barry, 1990. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area?," CEPR Discussion Papers 478, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Barry Eichengreen, 1991. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area?," NBER Working Papers 3579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eichengreen, Barry, 1990. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area?," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt40m5g6pp, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Barry Eichengreen., 1990. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area?," Economics Working Papers 90-151, University of California at Berkeley.
- Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1995. "Restraining Yourself: The Implications of Fiscal Rules for Economic Stabilization," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 32-48, March.
- Buiter, Willem H. & Corsetti, Giancarlo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "`Excessive Deficits': Sense and Nonsense in the Treaty of Maastricht," CEPR Discussion Papers 750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Buiter, W.H. & Corsetti, G. & Roubini, N., 1992. "Excessive Deficits: Sense and Nonsence in the Treaty of Maastricht," Papers 674, Yale - Economic Growth Center.