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Interaction of Fiscal Policies on the Euro Area: How Much Pressure on the ECB?


  • Luca Onorante


Since the Helsinki European Council of December 1999, a process of increased coordination of fiscal policies in the area of the Euro seems to be on its way. In this paper I examine this process from the point of view of the independence of the European Central Bank (ECB). The interaction of the governments and the ECB is addressed in a game theoretical framework. First, the conditions under which the national governments are able to put pressure on the ECB are made explicit. Then the main question is addressed: would a greater fiscal coordination reduce or increase the capacity of the monetary authority of targeting long run inflation? Formal and informal, discretional (positive) and rule-based (negative) coordination and their interactions are examined as possible solutions of the game. I conclude that the main point is not how much fiscal coordination is there, but the form it takes. It turns out that a mix of informal political coordination and binding rules is the one that best preserves the independence of the ECB. For negative coordination, it is shown that a simple change in the definition of "excessive deficit" can at the same time allow more stabilization of output after a shock and a better control of inflation by the ECB.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2006/9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Carmen Díaz-Roldán, "undated". "Coordination of Fiscal Policies in a Monetary Union," Working Papers on International Economics and Finance 00-09, FEDEA.
    3. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," NBER Working Papers 3949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jose Emilio Boscá Mares & Vicente Orts Ríos, 1990. "La Coordinacion De Politicas Fiscales En El Marco De Una Union Economica Y Monetaria," Working Papers. Serie EC 1990-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    5. van Aarle, Bas & Huart, Florence, 1999. "Monetary and fiscal unification in the EU: a stylized analysis," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 49-66, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicola Acocella, "undated". "Teoria e pratica della politica economica: l’eredità del recente passato," Working Papers 104/13, Sapienza University of Rome, Metodi e modelli per l'economia, il territorio e la finanza MEMOTEF.
    2. Luca ONORANTE, "undated". "Fiscal Convergence Before Entering the EMU," EcoMod2004 330600107, EcoMod.
    3. Nicola Acocella, "undated". "The theoretical roots of EMU institutions and policies during the crisis," Working Papers 126/14, Sapienza University of Rome, Metodi e modelli per l'economia, il territorio e la finanza MEMOTEF.
    4. Nicola Acocella, "undated". "A tale of two cities: exit policies in Washington and Frankfurt," Working Papers 117/13, Sapienza University of Rome, Metodi e modelli per l'economia, il territorio e la finanza MEMOTEF.

    More about this item


    European Montary Union; European Central Bank; game theory; fiscal policy; monetary policy; policy coordination;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

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