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An Analysis of the 'Stability Pact'



We analyse the proposed ‘stability pact’ for countries joining a European Monetary Union (EMU). Within EMU shortsighted governments fail to fully internalize the inflationary consequences of their debt policies, which results in excessive debt accumulation. Hence, although in the absence of EMU governments have no incentive to sign a stability pact, within EMU they prefer a stability pact which punishes excessive debt accumulation. With idiosyncratic shocks to governments’ budgets, EMU combined with an appropriately designed stability pact will be strictly preferred to autonomy. While the stability pact corrects the average debt bias, inflation, which is attuned to the Union-average debt level, is more stable.

Suggested Citation

  • Beetsma, Roel & Uhlig, Harald, 1997. "An Analysis of the 'Stability Pact'," CEPR Discussion Papers 1669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1669

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    2. Jensen, Henrik, 1994. "Loss of monetary discretion in a simple dynamic policy game," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(3-4), pages 763-779.
    3. Rudi Dornbusch, 1996. "Debt and Monetary Policy: The Policy Issues," NBER Working Papers 5573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kenen,Peter B., 1995. "Economic and Monetary Union in Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521558839, May.
    5. Cukierman Alex, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, And Independance: Theory And Evidence," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 1-10, December.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fiorella Kostoris Padoa Schioppa, 2006. "The 2005 Reform of the Stability and Growth Pact: Too Little, Too Late?," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 6, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
    2. Anton Muscatelli & Patrizio Tirelli & Carmine Trecroci, 2001. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions over the Cycle: Some Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 2002_13, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Oct 2002.
    3. Harry Huizinga & Søren Bo Nielsen, "undated". "Is Coordination of Fiscal Deficits Necessary?," EPRU Working Paper Series 98-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    4. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2000. "Designing Stabilization Policy in a Monetary Union," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0529, Econometric Society.
    5. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2004. "Good, bad or ugly? On the effects of fiscal rules with creative accounting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 377-394, January.
    6. Sutter, Matthias, 2000. "Flexible Integration, EMU and Relative Voting Power in the EU," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(1-2), pages 41-62, July.
    7. Patrizio Tirelli & V. Anton Muscatelli & Carmine Trecroci, 2004. "The interaction of fiscal and monetary policies: some evidence using structural econometric models'," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 103, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    8. Detken, Carsten, 1999. "Fiscal policy effectiveness and neutrality results in a non-Ricardian world," Working Paper Series 0003, European Central Bank.
    9. Marco Catenaro, 2000. "Macroeconomic Policy Interactions in the EMU: A Case for Fiscal Policy Co-ordination," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0003, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    10. W. Bolt, 1999. "Fiscal Restraints, ECB Credibility and the Stability Pact:A Game-Theoretic Perspective," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 38, Netherlands Central Bank.
    11. Xavier Debrun, 2000. "Fiscal Rules in a Monetary Union: A Short-Run Analysis," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 323-358, October.

    More about this item


    Debt Policy; European Monetary Union; Inflation; Monetary Policy; Political Distortions; Stability Pact;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • 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
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt


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