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Financial Markets and Fiscal Unions


  • Patrick J. Kehoe
  • Elena Pastorino


Do sophisticated international financial markets obviate the need for an active union-wide authority to orchestrate fiscal transfers between countries to provide adequate insurance against country-specific economic fluctuations? We argue that they do. Specifically, we show that in a benchmark economy with no international financial markets, an activist union-wide authority is necessary to achieve desirable outcomes. With sophisticated financial markets, however, such an authority is unnecessary if its only goal is to provide cross-country insurance. Since restricting the set of policy instruments available to member countries does not create a fiscal externality across them, this result holds in a wide variety of settings. Finally, we establish that an activist union-wide authority concerned just with providing insurance across member countries is optimal only when individual countries are either unable or unwilling to pursue desirable policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick J. Kehoe & Elena Pastorino, 2017. "Financial Markets and Fiscal Unions," NBER Working Papers 23235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23235

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gali­, Jordi & Monacelli, Tommaso, 2008. "Optimal monetary and fiscal policy in a currency union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 116-132, September.
    2. Varadarajan V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2008. "Time Inconsistency and Free-Riding in a Monetary Union," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(7), pages 1329-1356, October.
    3. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 2007. "On the need for fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2399-2408, November.
    4. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 707-734.
    5. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 624-660, June.
    6. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Emmanuel Farhi & Gita Gopinath, 2013. "Crisis and Commitment: Inflation Credibility and the Vulnerability to Sovereign Debt Crises," NBER Working Papers 19516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F38 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Financial Policy: Financial Transactions Tax; Capital Controls
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles

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