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Eine Finanzpolitik im Interesse der naechsen Generationen

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  • Achim Truger
  • Henner Will

Abstract

At a time with growing fears of excessive government debt and of overburdened future generations Swiss fiscal policy seems to be the virtuous role model to be followed. Whereas almost everywhere else government debt has been increasing dramatically after the global economic and financial crisis in 2008, in Switzerland it decreased steadily ever since 2003. According to the official and widespread interpretation this success is essentially a result of the introduction of the so called 'debt brake' on the federal constitutional level. The present study, however, shows that the - at first glance plausible - success story has to be revised substantially. In order to show this the study firstly deals with the question whether the 'debt brake' is indeed responsible for the impressive process of budget consolidation. Secondly, the theoretical arguments in favour of strict limits for government deficits and debt are reconsidered and it is shown that the Swiss debt brake violates the golden rule of fiscal policy according to which (net) public investment should be financed by credit. Thirdly, two important practical problems of Swiss fiscal policy are identified, namely the severe limits it imposes on the government's ability to act in times of economic downturn and the observable neglect of public investment spending. Fourthly, specific solutions addressing the problems identified are developed.

Suggested Citation

  • Achim Truger & Henner Will, 2012. "Eine Finanzpolitik im Interesse der naechsen Generationen," IMK Studies 24-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:imk:studie:24-2012
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    File URL: http://www.boeckler.de/pdf/p_imk_study_24_2012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Scherf, Wolfgang, 2007. "Öffentliche Verschuldung," Finanzwissenschaftliche Arbeitspapiere 80, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
    3. John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
    4. Achim Truger & Katja Rietzler & Henner Will & Rudolf Zwiener, 2010. "Alternative Strategien der Budgetkonsolidierung in Österreich nach der Rezession," IMK Studies 02-2010, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    5. Achim Truger & Henner Will, 2012. "Gestaltungsanfällig und pro-zyklisch: Die deutsche Schuldenbremse in der Detailanalyse," IMK Working Paper 88-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gustav A. Horn & Fabian Lindner & Silke Tober & Andrew Watt, 2012. "Where now for the euro area crisis? Interim assessment and a model for a stable euro area," IMK Report 75e-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    2. Achim Truger, 2013. "Austerity in the euro area: the sad state of economic policy in Germany and the EU," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 158-174.
    3. Gustav A. Horn & Fabian Lindner & Silke Tober & Andrew Watt, 2012. "Quo vadis Krise? Zwischenbilanz und Konzept für einen stabilen Euroraum," IMK Report 75-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    4. Martin Baur & Pierre-Alain Bruchez & Barbara Schlaffer, 2013. "Institutions for Crisis Prevention: the Case of Switzerland," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 4, pages 10-21, July.

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