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Workers' versus Bankers' Europe (II): Policy Externalities and Credibility in EMU


  • Laura Bottazzi
  • Paolo Manasse


In this paper we analyze how the creation of a single currency regime changes the strategic relationship between policy makers, both within and across countries. in particular we look at the role of cross-country externalities and lack of commitment. When labor taxation is excessive, due to terms of trade externalities, the ECB may be tempted to raise inflation above the flexible exchange rate equilibrium in order to induce governments to substitute seignorage for income taxes. Therefore the equilibrium rate of inflation in EMU typically exceed the flexible exchange rate level. When the ECB cannot credibly commit to inflation, multiple equilibria may arise, where inflation is excessive and labor taxes too low (Workers' Europe), or viceversa, where taxation is excessive and inflation too low(Bankers' Europe). Finally, if the ECB cannot commit to a fixed scheme for redistributing seignorage, the outcome is excess inflation and suboptimal taxation. Both governments anticipate that the ECB will redistribute seignorage in favor of the country with lower tax revenue, and tend to lower tax rates accordingly.

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  • Laura Bottazzi & Paolo Manasse, "undated". "Workers' versus Bankers' Europe (II): Policy Externalities and Credibility in EMU," Working Papers 128, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:128

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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