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Should Europe Become a Fiscal Union?

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  • Keuschnigg, Christian

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Abstract

Moving towards a fiscal union does not address the problems of divergence in Europe. Given cultural heterogeneity and diverse preferences, fiscal policy should remain under national sovereignty while important regulatory power is assigned to the Union. The paper argues that more credible fiscal rules combined with tighter surveillance reduce negative policy spillovers. A better capitalized banking sector imposes more market discipline with sovereign risk-premia. Institutional lending by the ESM (European Stabilization Mechanism) to distressed countries is subject to strict conditionality and will impose structural adjustment that was neglected ex ante. Further reform seems necessary to strengthen the financial capacity and institutional independence of the ESM and to impose tighter regulation and more ambitious recapitalization of European banks to contain cross-country contagion on financial markets. Such reform should prevent or at least much reduce the negative consequences of national decision making on other member countries and would in turn support the political goals of establishing peace and harmony in Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Keuschnigg, Christian, 2012. "Should Europe Become a Fiscal Union?," Economics Working Paper Series 1205, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2012:05
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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1205.pdf
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    1. Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2012. "Target loans, current account balances and capital flows: the ECB’s rescue facility," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(4), pages 468-508, August.
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    5. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Costs and Benefits of the EMU and Other Monetary Unions: An Overview of Recent Research," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 603-641.
    6. Feldstein, Martin S., 2011. "The Euro and European Economic Conditions," Scholarly Articles 9949289, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Michael D. Bordo & Lars Jonung & Agnieszka Markiewicz, 2013. "A Fiscal Union for the Euro: Some Lessons from History ," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(3), pages 449-488, September.
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    1. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:6:p:1322-1342 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Clemens Fuest & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "Fiscal union in Europe? Redistributive and stabilizing effects of a European tax-benefit system and fiscal equalization mechanism," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 28(75), pages 375-422, July.
    3. Calmfors, Lars, 2015. "The Roles of Fiscal Rules, Fiscal Councils and Fiscal Union in EU Integration," Working Paper Series 1076, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    4. Martin Gächter & Alexander Gruber & Aleksandra Riedl, 2017. "Wage Divergence, Business Cycle Co-Movement and the Currency Union Effect," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(6), pages 1322-1342, November.
    5. Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Neumann, Dirk & Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2012. "Fiscal Union in Europe? Redistributive and Stabilising Effects of an EU Tax-Benefit System," IZA Discussion Papers 6585, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Neumann, Dirk & Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Fiscal Union in Europe? Efficiency, Equity and Stabilizing Effects of an EU-Wide Income Tax," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 66063, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal crisis; fiscal rules; common currency area;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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