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Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under EMU: Credible Inflation Targets or Unpleasant Monetary Arithmetic?

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  • Levine, Paul L
  • Pearlman, Joseph

Abstract

The paper emphasizes the distinction between the purely fiscal reasons for fiscal policy coordination under EMU (given a credible low-inflation policy by the ECB), and the spillover effects of an uncoordinated fiscal policy on monetary policy. The worst scenario is where an independent ECB sets the common interest rate and responds to a rising government debt/GDP ratio in either of the two `countries' with a looser monetary stance. The result is high inflation, high debt/GDP ratios and a large public sector. In our intermediate scenario the ECB sets the nominal interest rate and the fiscal authorities bear sole responsibility for their own solvency. The result again, is an excessively large public sector, but government debt is contained and inflation is kept low. In these first two scenarios fiscal policy coordination (with an independent ECB) is counterproductive. The best scenario occurs with credible inflation targeting by the ECB. This removes the incentive for the fiscal authorities to cause surprise inflation. Welfare gains from fiscal coordination now exist but are only substantial in a two-good EMU.

Suggested Citation

  • Levine, Paul L & Pearlman, Joseph, 1992. "Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under EMU: Credible Inflation Targets or Unpleasant Monetary Arithmetic?," CEPR Discussion Papers 701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:701
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Bovenberg, A. Lans, 1999. "Does monetary unification lead to excessive debt accumulation?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 299-325, December.
    2. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Lans Bovenberg, A., 1997. "Designing fiscal and monetary institutions in a second-best world," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 53-79, February.
    3. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1995. "The interaction of fiscal and monetary policy in a monetary union : Balancing credibility and flexibility," Discussion Paper 1995-101, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. OZDEMIR Durmus, "undated". "Growth, Infrastructure and Fiscal Policy," EcoMod2003 330700116, EcoMod.
    5. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Bovenberg, A. Lans, 1997. "Central bank independence and public debt policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(4-5), pages 873-894, May.
    6. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Lans Bovenberg, A., 1998. "Monetary union without fiscal coordination may discipline policymakers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 239-258, August.
    7. Beetsma, Roel M W J & Bovenberg, A Lans, 2000. "Designing Fiscal and Monetary Institutions for a European Monetary Union," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(3-4), pages 247-269, March.
    8. Bas Aarle & Lans Bovenberg & Matthias Raith, 1995. "Monetary and fiscal policy interaction and government debt stabilization," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 111-140, June.
    9. Jensen, Henrik, 1996. "The advantage of international fiscal cooperation under alternative monetary regimes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 485-504, November.
    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. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Bovenberg, A. Lans, 2003. "Strategic debt accumulation in a heterogeneous monetary union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-15, March.
    12. Beetsma Roel M.W.J. & Bovenberg A. Lans, 1995. "The role of public debt in the game of double chicken," Research Memorandum 025, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    EMU; Fiscal Policy Coordination; Monetary/ Fiscal Policy Interdependence; Reputation;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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