IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Towards a Stable Monetary Union: What Role for Eurobonds?


  • Niels Gilbert
  • Jeroen Hessel
  • Silvie Verkaart


This paper investigates the role that Eurobonds could play in making EMU stable in the long run. We establish that EMU's budgetary problems are not only caused by lack of budgetary discipline, but also by the large and sudden fiscal deterioration during the financial crisis. This type of shock can never be fully ruled out. EMU member states appear more vulnerable in this situation than countries with their own currency, and risk getting caught in a self-fulfilling spiral of increasing interest rates. This presents a strong case for some type of rescue mechanism. We establish that neither the EFSF/ ESM nor the ECB form the ideal backstop, and that Eurobonds potentially offer a more stable solution, but at the price of important moral hazard problems. All existing Eurobond proposals therefore seek a balance between stabilisation and moral hazard, typically through retaining some degree of market discipline. Our Eurobond proposal improves the trade-off between stabilisation and moral hazard by using Eurobonds themselves to further enforce budgetary discipline. Even then, however, EMU governance has to be strengthened substantially and debt levels have to converge before Eurobonds can be introduced. Therefore, our Eurobond proposal could only serve as the capstone of EMU.

Suggested Citation

  • Niels Gilbert & Jeroen Hessel & Silvie Verkaart, 2013. "Towards a Stable Monetary Union: What Role for Eurobonds?," DNB Working Papers 379, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:379

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bertrand Candelon & Amadou N Sy & Rabah Arezki, 2011. "Sovereign Rating News and Financial Markets Spillovers; Evidence from the European Debt Crisis," IMF Working Papers 11/68, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    3. Charles Wyplosz, 2012. "Fiscal Rules: Theoretical Issues and Historical Experiences," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 495-525 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 466-472, May.
    5. Stijn Claessens & Shahin Vallée, 2012. "Paths to eurobonds," Working Papers 733, Bruegel.
    6. Sven Steinkamp & Frank Westermann, 2012. "On Creditor Seniority and Sovereign Bond Prices in Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 3944, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Giancarlo Corsetti & Michael P. Devereux & John Hassler & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2011. "Chapter 2: A New Crisis Mechanism for the Euro Area," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 71-96, February.
    8. Silvia Merler & Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2012. "Sudden Stops in the Euro Area," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 3(3).
    9. David Haugh & Patrice Ollivaud & David Turner, 2009. "What Drives Sovereign Risk Premiums?: An Analysis of Recent Evidence from the Euro Area," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 718, OECD Publishing.
    10. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
    11. Carlo Favero & Alessandro Missale, 2011. "Sovereign spreads in the Euro Area. Which prospects for a Eurobond?," Working Papers 424, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    12. Bernoth, Kerstin & von Hagen, Jürgen & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2012. "Sovereign risk premiums in the European government bond market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 975-995.
    13. Stephen Cecchetti & Madhusudan Mohanty & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2011. "The real effects of debt," BIS Working Papers 352, Bank for International Settlements.
    14. Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2012. "The Euro crisis and the new impossible trinity," Policy Contributions 674, Bruegel.
    15. Bernoth, Kerstin & Erdogan, Burcu, 2012. "Sovereign bond yield spreads: A time-varying coefficient approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 639-656.
    16. Alan M. Taylor, 2013. "The Great Leveraging," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Social Value of the Financial Sector Too Big to Fail or Just Too Big?, chapter 4, pages 33-65 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    17. Poghosyan, Tigran, 2014. "Long-run and short-run determinants of sovereign bond yields in advanced economies," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 100-114.
    18. Ferhan Salman & Gabriela Dobrescu, 2011. "Fiscal Policy During Absorption Cycles," IMF Working Papers 11/41, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Kristin Forbes, 2012. "The "Big C": Identifying Contagion," NBER Working Papers 18465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Borio, Claudio, 2014. "The financial cycle and macroeconomics: What have we learnt?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 182-198.
    21. Jakob de Haan & Helge Berger & David-Jan Jansen, 2004. "Why has the Stability and Growth Pact Failed?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 235-260, July.
    22. Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2011. "A New Crisis Mechanism for the Euro Area," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(3), pages 39-44, October.
    23. Felix Eschenbach & Ludger Schuknecht, 2004. "Budgetary risks from real estate and stock markets," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(39), pages 313-346, July.
    24. Julia Lendvai & Laurent Moulin & Alessandro Turrini, 2011. "From CAB to CAAB? Correcting Indicators of Structural Fiscal Positions for Current Account Imbalances," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 442, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    25. Beetsma, Roel & Mavromatis, Kostas, 2014. "An analysis of eurobonds," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 91-111.
    26. Antonio Di Cesare & Giuseppe Grande & Michele Manna & Marco Taboga, 2012. "Recent estimates of sovereign risk premia for euro-area countries," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 128, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    27. Paul De Grauwe & Yuemei Ji, 2012. "Mispricing of Sovereign Risk and Multiple Equilibria in the Eurozone," LICOS Discussion Papers 30412, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    28. Jakob de Haan & Niels D. Gilbert & Jeroen Hessel & Silvie Verkaart, 2013. "How to Enforce Fiscal Discipline in EMU: A Proposal," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(II), pages 205-217, June.
    29. Michiel Bijlsma & Shahin Vallée, 2012. "The creation of euro area financial safety nets," Working Papers 732, Bruegel.
    30. Beetsma, Roel & Giuliodori, Massimo & Wierts, Peter, 2009. "Budgeting versus implementing fiscal policy in the EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 7285, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. de Haan, Leo & Hessel, Jeroen & van den End, Jan Willem, 2014. "Are European sovereign bonds fairly priced? The role of modelling uncertainty," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 239-267.
    2. Beetsma, Roel & Mavromatis, Kostas, 2014. "An analysis of eurobonds," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 91-111.

    More about this item


    Eurobonds; sovereign bond spreads; fiscal risk-sharing; Economic and Monetary Union;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:379. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rob Vet). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.