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Patching up the Pact: some Suggestions for Enhancing Fiscal Sustainability and Macroeconomic Stability in an Enlarged European Union

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  • Buiter, Willem H.
  • Grafe, Clemens

Abstract

The paper considers the implications for the EU accession candidates of Central and Eastern Europe of the fiscal-financial constraints imposed by the Stability and Growth Pact and the Maastricht Treaty. Our findings apply also to those current EU members whose initial conditions (e.g. infrastructure and progress in state pension reform) or other structural characteristics (e.g. demographic structure, growth potential, Balassa-Samuelson equilibrium real exchange rate appreciation) differ significantly from the EU average. We find the existing criteria to be seriously flawed and propose an alternative rule, the Permanent Balance Rule, based on a strong from of tax smoothing.

Suggested Citation

  • Buiter, Willem H. & Grafe, Clemens, 2002. "Patching up the Pact: some Suggestions for Enhancing Fiscal Sustainability and Macroeconomic Stability in an Enlarged European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3496, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3496
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    EU accession; fiscal sustainability; golden rule; stability and growth pact; tax smoothing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • 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
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

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