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A simple and flexible alternative to the Stability and Growth Pact deficit ceilings. Is it at hand?

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  • V. Anton Muscatelli
  • Piergiovanna Natale

    ()

  • Patrizio Tirelli

    ()

Abstract

We use a simple theoretical model of a monetary union where myopic discretionary fiscal policies generate excessive debt accumulation in steady state and inefficiently delayed debt adjustment following a shock. We advocate the adoption of a flexible debt targeting approach. By setting a long-term debt target and by raising the political cost associated to deviations from the optimal pace of debt reversal following a shock¸ institutional design induces the fiscal policymaker to implement unbiased discretionary responses to shocks. Since the power to discipline fiscal policymakers rests in the hands of national voters, this outcome can be achieved by increasing the transparency of the decision-making process, where national voters understand the long-term consequences of fiscal policies. In practice, we call for clearer and more focused supervision tasks for the European Commission and for a more active role of national Parliaments whenever a disagreement arises between the Commission and a national government.

Suggested Citation

  • V. Anton Muscatelli & Piergiovanna Natale & Patrizio Tirelli, 2010. "A simple and flexible alternative to the Stability and Growth Pact deficit ceilings. Is it at hand?," Working Papers 195, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:195
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Di Bartolomeo & Debora Di Gioacchino, 2008. "Fiscal-monetary policy coordination and debt management: a two-stage analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 433-448, September.
    2. repec:kap:iaecre:v:11:y:2005:i:1:p:29-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kilian Bizer & Zulia Gubaydullina & Hazim Rahahleh & Werner Sesselmeier, 2007. "FTPL-Perspective on Tradable Deficit Permits in the EMU," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 35(3), pages 259-267, September.
    4. Ngai, Victor, 2012. "Stability and Growth Pact and Fiscal Discipline in the Eurozone," Working Papers 12-10, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
    5. Thierry Warin, 2005. "The Hidden Structural Features of the Fiscal Rule: A European Saga," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 11(1), pages 29-38, February.
    6. Giovanni Di Bartolomeo & Debora Di Gioacchino, 2005. "Fiscal-Monetary Policy Coordination And Debt Management: A Two Stage Dynamic Analysis," Macroeconomics 0504024, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Paolo Biraschi, "undated". "Searching for the optimal EMU fiscal rule:an ex-post analysis of the SGP reform proposals," Working Papers wp2008-7, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
    8. repec:eee:poleco:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:391-416 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Chortareas, Georgios & Mavrodimitrakis, Christos, 2017. "Strategic fiscal policies and leadership in a monetary union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 133-147.
    10. Matthias Bauer & Martin Zenker, 2012. "Market Discipline Under A Politicised Multilateral Fiscal Rule - Lessons from the Stability and Growth Pact Debate," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 2012-35, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    11. repec:eee:jmacro:v:59:y:2019:i:c:p:103-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Bergman, U. Michael & Hutchison, Michael M. & Jensen, Svend E. Hougaard, 2016. "Promoting sustainable public finances in the European Union: The role of fiscal rules and government efficiency," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-19.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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