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Fiscal convergence before entering the EMU

  • Onorante, Luca

The monetary integration of the acceding countries will proceed in several distinct steps, starting with membership in the European Union (EU), followed by participation in the so-called Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) II and ultimately entry into the euro area. This paper addresses the question of whether a reduction of public deficits, such as imposed by the Maastricht fiscal criteria, is a necessary or useful step on the road to the adoption of the euro. The question is addressed by examining the interaction of monetary, fiscal and wage policies and their effects on prices in a monetary union hit by economic shocks. The theoretical model shows that fiscal activism is related with both entry in monetary union and with structural di¤erences in the national labour markets, and analyses in detail the effect of both factors. As for acceding countries, the conclusion is that the process of deficit reduction should be completed before entry, as suggested by the Maastricht criteria. The chapter also suggests that fiscal constraints on government deficits appear essential in a monetary union when the wage formation is taken into due consideration. JEL Classification: E61, E62, H30

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0664.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20060664
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  1. Dixit, Avinash & Lambertini, Luisa, 2003. "Symbiosis of monetary and fiscal policies in a monetary union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 235-247, August.
  2. Luca Onorante, 2004. "Fiscal, monetary and wage policies in a MU: is there a need for fiscal rules?," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 73, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  3. Dixit, Avinash & Lambertini, Luisa, 2001. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and commitment versus discretion in a monetary union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 977-987, May.
  4. Luca Onorante, 2006. "Interaction of Fiscal Policies on the Euro Area: How Much Pressure on the ECB?," Economics Working Papers ECO2006/9, European University Institute.
  5. William D. Nordhaus, 1994. "Policy games: Coordination and Independece in Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 139-216.
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