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Post-Crisis Lesson for EMU Governance from the Principal-Agent Approach

Author

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  • Luca Barbone
  • Grzegorz Poniatowski

Abstract

This paper contributes to the ongoing debate on fiscal consolidation and the questionable effectiveness of the Stability and Growth Pact by addressing the problem of economic governance in the EMU with a game-theoretic principal-agent approach. Following the theory of delegation, we develop a principal-multi agent model where the EMU authorities act as a collective principal that designs contracts for each of two agents that reflect Europe’s ”South” and ”North”. We investigate what happens when agents face hidden-information moral hazard problem and when they are able to coordinate their actions. Bearing in mind the applicability of incentive mechanisms, we discuss the optimal contracts for the principal and each of the agents. We prove that the most efficient solution consists of tailor-made contracts, according to which highly indebted countries must be offered strong incentive mechanisms in the form of substantial penalties but also rewards (e.g., preferential loans). We also stress the importance of taking into account positive spillover effects, which could be facilitated by economic integration and fiscal policy coordination between the EMU Members.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Barbone & Grzegorz Poniatowski, 2013. "Post-Crisis Lesson for EMU Governance from the Principal-Agent Approach," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0457, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0457
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    File URL: http://www.case-research.eu/sites/default/files/publications/CNSA_2013_457.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    2. Jakob von Weizsäcker & Jacques Delpla, 2010. "The Blue Bond Proposal," Policy Briefs 403, Bruegel.
    3. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J. David, 2001. "An Introduction to the Economics of Information: Incentives and Contracts," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199243273.
    4. Waltraud Schelkle, 2005. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Policy Co-ordination in EMU: From Disciplinarian Device to Insurance Arrangement," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 371-391, June.
    5. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    7. Marek Dabrowski, 2012. "Fiscal and Monetary Policy Determinants of the Eurozone Crisis and its Resolution," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 443, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Grzegorz Poniatowski, 2014. "Common Currency and Determinants of Government Bond Risk Premiums," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, CEJEME, vol. 6(2), pages 70-87, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Moral Hazard; Principal-Agent; EU Economic Governance; Fiscal Compact;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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