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Rules and risk in the euro area: does rules-based national fiscal governance contain sovereign bond spreads?

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Listed:
  • Anna Iara
  • Guntram B. Wolff

Abstract

The strengthening of national fiscal frameworks, including numerical fiscal rules, has recently been proposed as an important part of the economic governance reform package for the EU. The strength of numerical fiscal rules can be described along the dimensions of their statutory base, the room to revise budgetary objectives, provisions for their monitoring and enforcement, and their media visibility. With a unique data set summarizing the quality of national fiscal rules along these dimensions, we show that stronger fiscal rules in euro area member states reduce sovereign risk. According to our estimates, yield spreads against Germany of countries with relatively weak fiscal rules could be up to 100 basis points lower if they upgraded their numerical fiscal rules. The legal base turns out to be the most important dimension for the perceived effectiveness of the rules. The effectiveness of the correction and enforcement mechanisms turns out to be very important as well, while the role of the bodies in charge of monitoring and enforcing compliance is somewhat smaller. Overall, national fiscal rules are found to be beneficial for market assessments of governments' ability and willingness to timely service debt: they could thus provide an effective way to implement fiscal discipline.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Iara & Guntram B. Wolff, 2010. "Rules and risk in the euro area: does rules-based national fiscal governance contain sovereign bond spreads?," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 433, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0433
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    Cited by:

    1. Szczypińska, Agnieszka, 2012. "Does the halo effect still hold? Implications for the euro-candidates from the analysis of the EA bond market - the crisis perspective," MF Working Papers 15, Ministry of Finance in Poland, revised 29 Aug 2012.
    2. de Grauwe, Paul & Ji, Yuemei & Macchiarelli, Corrado, 2017. "Fundamentals versus market sentiments in the euro bond markets: implications for QE," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 85127, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Stasavage, David, 2016. "What we can learn from the early history of sovereign debt," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-16.
    4. Jocelyn Boussard & Francisco de Castro & Matteo Salto, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers and Public Debt Dynamics in Consolidations," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 460, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    5. Kaplanoglou, Georgia & Rapanos, Vassilis T., 2011. "The Greek fiscal crisis and the role of fiscal governance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 36432, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Kovács, Olivér, 2011. "Hiány, államadósság és fenntarthatóság. Benczes István-Kutasi Gábor: Költségvetési pénzügyek Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 2010, 358 o
      [Shortage, state debt and sustainability: István Benczes and Gábo
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(4), pages 383-387.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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