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Bad for Euroland, Worse for Germany-The ECB's Record

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  • Jorg Bibow

    (The Levy Economics Institute)

Abstract

This paper assesses the contribution of the European Central Bank (ECB) to Germany’s ongoing economic crisis, a vicious circle of decline in which the country has become stuck since the early 1990s. It is argued that the ECB continues the Bundesbank tradition of asymmetric policymaking: the bank is quick to hike, but slow to ease. It thereby acts as a brake on growth. This approach has worked for the Bundesbank in the past because other banks behaved differently. Exporting the Bundesbank “success story” to Euroland has undermined its working, however; given its sheer size, Euroland simply cannot freeload on external stimuli forever. While Euroland cannot do without proper demand management, the Maastricht regime and especially the ECB are firmly geared against it. The ECB’s monetary policies have been biased against growth and have thus proved bad for Euroland as a whole. Meanwhile, the German disease of protracted domestic demand weakness has spread across much of Euroland. Yet, by pursuing its peculiar traditions of wage restraint and procyclical public thrift, the ECB’s policies have had even worse results for Germany. Fragility and divergence undermine the euro’s long-term survival.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorg Bibow, 2005. "Bad for Euroland, Worse for Germany-The ECB's Record," Macroeconomics 0511018, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0511018
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jorg Bibow, "undated". "Easy Money Through The Back Door: The Markets Vs. The ECB," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_65, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2005. "Bazaar Economy GermanyWorld Champion Exporter or Laggard?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 58(06), pages 03-42, March.
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    6. Jorg Bibow, 2004. "Fiscal Consolidation: Contrasting Strategies & Lessons From International Experiences," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_400, Levy Economics Institute.
    7. Jorg Bibow, 2004. "Assessing the ECB's Performance since the Global Slowdown: A Structural Policy Bias Coming Home to Roost?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_409, Levy Economics Institute.
    8. Jorg Bibow, 2005. "Germany in crisis: the unification challenge, macroeconomic policy shocks and traditions, and EMU," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 29-50.
    9. von Hagen, Jurgen, 1993. "Monetary union, money demand, and money supply : A review of the German monetary union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 803-827, May.
    10. C. Randall Henning, 1994. "Currencies and Politics in the United States, Germany, and Japan," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 15, October.
    11. Kromphardt, Jürgen, 2003. "Lohnpolitik bei möglicher Deflation," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1949 - 2007), ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 83(8), pages 501-508.
    12. Jorg Bibow, 2002. "The Markets versus the ECB, and the EURO's Plunge," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 45-57, Winter.
    13. Joerg Bibow, 2004. "Haushaltskonsolidierungsstrategien im Vergleich. Warum die deutsch-europaeische Fiskalpolitik versagt," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 1(2), pages 75-106.
    14. Siklos, P.L., 1993. "Varieties of Monetary Reforms," Working Papers 93013, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics.
    15. Jorg Bibow, 2003. "On the 'burden' of German unification," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 56(225), pages 137-169.
    16. Adam S. Posen, 2003. "Is Germany Turning Japanese?," Working Paper Series WP03-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    17. Jorg Bibow, 2004. "Investigating the Intellectual Origins of Euroland's Macroeconomic Policy Regime: Central Banking Institutions and Traditions in West Germany After the War," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_406, Levy Economics Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jörg Bibow, 2007. "Global Imbalances, Bretton Woods II, and Euroland’s Role in All This," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Jörg Bibow & Andrea Terzi (ed.), Euroland and the World Economy, chapter 1, pages 15-42, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2007. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Performance in the Euro Area: Lessons for the Future," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Jörg Bibow & Andrea Terzi (ed.), Euroland and the World Economy, chapter 8, pages 154-183, Palgrave Macmillan.
    3. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2007. "Germany’s Post-2000 Stagnation in the European Context — a Lesson in Macroeconomic Mismanagement," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Philip Arestis & Eckhard Hein & Edwin Heron (ed.), Aspects of Modern Monetary and Macroeconomic Policies, chapter 12, pages 223-247, Palgrave Macmillan.
    4. GUISAN, Maria-Carmen, 2009. "Real Exchange Rate Euro-Dollar And Foreign Trade Balance: Analysis Of Spain, Germany And France In Comparison With The Usa. 1960-2007," Economic Development 100, University of Santiago de Compostela. Faculty of Economics and Business. Econometrics..

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    German unification; Bundesbank; policy inconsistency; stability culture; ECB; EMU;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • 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
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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