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A fiscal capacity for the euro area: lessons from existing fiscal-federal systems

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  • Burriel, Pablo
  • Chronis, Panagiotis
  • Freier, Maximilian
  • Hauptmeier, Sebastian
  • Reiss, Lukas
  • Stegarescu, Dan
  • Van Parys, Stefan

Abstract

After the financial and economic crisis in Europe, a broad consensus has emerged that a stronger fiscal dimension may be needed to complete the architecture of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This paper analyses the performance of interregional transfers in existing fiscal-federal systems, notably in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the United States, and aims to draw lessons for the design of a euro area fiscal instrument. The empirical risk-sharing analysis in this paper suggests that effective cross-regional stabilisation of asymmetric shocks tends to work via direct cash transfers to households, such as unemployment benefits, which are financed out of cyclical central government taxes and social security contributions. This would suggest that a euro area budgetary instrument for stabilisation should be designed as a tool that enhances the automatic stabilisation capacity in the single currency area. At the same time, it seems important that a prospective central stabilisation instrument for the euro area would be integrated in an overall fiscal policy framework that ensures proper incentives for national policymakers. JEL Classification: E62, H11, H77

Suggested Citation

  • Burriel, Pablo & Chronis, Panagiotis & Freier, Maximilian & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Reiss, Lukas & Stegarescu, Dan & Van Parys, Stefan, 2020. "A fiscal capacity for the euro area: lessons from existing fiscal-federal systems," Occasional Paper Series 239, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:2020239
    Note: 538998
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    Cited by:

    1. Roel Beetsma & Brian Burgoon & Francesco Nicoli & Anniek de Ruijter & Frank Vandenbroucke, 2020. "What Kind of EU Fiscal Capacity? Evidence from a Randomized Survey Experiment in Five European Countries in Times of Corona," CESifo Working Paper Series 8470, CESifo.
    2. Roel Beetsma & Brian Burgoon & Francesco Nicoli & Anniek de Ruijter & Frank Vandenbroucke, 2020. "What Kind of EU Fiscal Capacity? Evidence from a Randomized Survey Experiment in Five European Countries in Times of Corona," CESifo Working Paper Series 8470, CESifo.
    3. Capella-Ramos, João & Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Leiner-Killinger, Nadine, 2020. "Fiscal transfers and economic convergence," Occasional Paper Series 252, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    euro area fiscal capacity; fiscal federalism; fiscal risk-sharing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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