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Monetary Integration, Soft Budget Constraints, and the EMU Sovereign Debt Crises

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  • Thushyanthan Baskaran

    () (Department of Economics, University of Göttingen, Germany)

  • Zohal Hessami

    () (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Abstract

One possible explanation for the European sovereign debt crises is that the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) gave rise to consolidation fatigue or even deliberate over-borrowing. This paper explores the validity of this explanation by studying how three decisive stages in the history of the EMU affected public borrowing in EU member states: the signing of the Maastricht treaty in 1992, the introduction of the Euro in 1999, and the suspension of the SGP in late 2003. The methodology relies on difference-in-difference regressions covering 26 OECD countries over the 1975-2009 period. The findings indicate that the first two 'treatments' reduced deficits especially in traditional high-deficit countries. In contrast, the watering down of the original SGP encouraged borrowing in countries which traditionally have had high deficits.

Suggested Citation

  • Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2013. "Monetary Integration, Soft Budget Constraints, and the EMU Sovereign Debt Crises," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-03, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1303
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Piotr Ciżkowicz & Andrzej Rzońca & Rafał Trzeciakowski, 2015. "Windfall of Low Interest Payments and Fiscal Sustainability in the Euro Area: Analysis through Panel Fiscal Reaction Functions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 475-510, November.
    2. János Kornai, 2014. "The soft budget constraint," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 64(supplemen), pages 25-79, November.
    3. Adrian Chadi & Matthias Krapf, 2017. "The Protestant Fiscal Ethic: Religious Confession And Euro Skepticism In Germany," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1813-1832, October.
    4. Thushyanthan Baskaran, 2013. "Do bailouts buy votes? Evidence from a panel of Hessian municipalities," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-278, August.
    5. Alison Johnston & Bob Hancké & Suman Pant, 2013. "Comparative Institutional Advantage in the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," Europe in Question Discussion Paper Series of the London School of Economics (LEQs) 6, London School of Economics / European Institute.
    6. Kornai, János, 2014. "Bevezetés A puha költségvetési korlát című kötethez
      [Introduction to the author s volume entitled Soft Budget Constraint]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 845-897.
    7. Jäger, Jannik & Grigoriadis, Theocharis, 2016. "Soft budget constraints, European Central Banking and the financial crisis," Discussion Papers 2016/7, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    8. Johnston, Alison & Hancké, Bob & Pant, Suman, 2013. "Comparative institutional advantage in the European sovereign debt crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 53177, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Alison Johnston & Bob Hancké & Suman Pant, 2013. "Comparative Institutional Advantage in the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 66, European Institute, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    EMU; monetary union; fiscal policy; public deficits;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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