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Keynesian and neoclassical fiscal susteinability indicators, with applications to EMU member countries

  • Alberto Bagnai

The purposes of this paper are twofold: first, it aims at critically evaluating the solvency criterion, pioneered by Hamilton and Flavin (1986), which is nowadays almost hegemonic in the analysis of public debt sustainability, and at illustrating alternative measures of sustainability grounded on the dynamic stability approach originated by Domar (1944); secondly, it looks at sustainability in EMU member countries, with particular attention given to the relations between sustainability and the design of fiscal rules. The results show that the 3% rule imposed by the Maastricht treaty can be justified as a sustainability requirement for an “average†EMU member country. At the same time, the dispersion around this average is quite substantial: this questions the viability of uniform deficit caps across EMU member countries.

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Paper provided by University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics in its series Working Papers with number 75.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sap:wpaper:wp75
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  1. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1991. "Fiscal deficits, public debt, and government solvency: Evidence from OECD countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 354-380, December.
  2. Buiter, W.H. & Corsetti, G. & Roubini, N., 1992. "Excessive Deficits: Sense and Nonsence in the Treaty of Maastricht," Papers 674, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  3. repec:pal:imfstp:v:35:y:1988:i:4:p:658-685 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Bagnai, Alberto & Carlucci, Francesco, 2003. "An aggregate model for the European Union," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 623-649, May.
  5. James Payne, 1997. "International evidence on the sustainability of budget deficits," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(12), pages 775-779.
  6. Michael Artis & Massimiliano Marcellino, . "Fiscal Solvency and Fiscal Forecasting in Europe," Working Papers 142, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Nigel A Chalk & Richard Hemming, 2000. "Assessing Fiscal Sustainability in Theory and Practice," IMF Working Papers 00/81, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Arne Heise, 2002. "Optimal Public Debts, Sustainable Deficits, and Budgetary Consolidation," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 319-337, December.
  9. James D. Hamilton & Marjorie A. Flavin, 1985. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for Empirical Testing," NBER Working Papers 1632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Matthew Canzoneri & Behzad Diba, 1999. "The Stability and Growth Pact: A Delicate Balance or an Albatross?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 241-258, September.
  11. James Tobin & Michael Haliassos, 1988. "The Macroeconomics of Government Finance," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 888, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. O'Connell, Stephen A & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1988. "Rational Ponzi Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(3), pages 431-50, August.
  13. Marco Buti & Gabriele Giudice, 2002. "Maastricht's Fiscal Rules at Ten: An Assessment," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 823-848, December.
  14. Torsten Persson, 1983. "Deficits and Intergenerational Welfare in Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 1083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Wilcox, David W, 1989. "The Sustainability of Government Deficits: Implications of the Present-Value Borrowing Constraint," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(3), pages 291-306, August.
  16. Tobin, James, 1986. "The Monetary-Fiscal Mix: Long-run Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 213-18, May.
  17. Bravo, Ana Bela Santos & Silvestre, Antonio Luis, 2002. "Intertemporal sustainability of fiscal policies: some tests for European countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 517-528, September.
  18. Smith, Gary, 1979. "The long run consequences of monetary and fiscal policies when the government's budget is not balanced," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 59-79, February.
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