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Future fiscal and debt policies: Germany in the Context of the European Monetary Union

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  • Hein, Eckhard
  • Truger, Achim

Abstract

Currently fiscal policies in Germany seem to be in a very comfortable position and the German Debt Brake is regarded as an institutional precondition for this success and has been exported to the Euro area in the guise of the Fiscal Compact. In this paper we scrutinize German fiscal policies and its new national and European institutional constraints from a macroeconomic perspective. We start by reiterating the requirements for fiscal policies of member countries in a currency union like the Euro area from a Post-Keynesian perspective and examine German fiscal policies in the period from 1999 until 2007 against this theoretical background. We then turn to German fiscal policies during the Great Recession, the German Debt Brake, the Fiscal Compact and future perspectives, and analyse the associated problems and risks. Finally, we discuss alternative scenarios which could avoid the deflationary pressures of the German Debt Brake and the Fiscal Compact on domestic demand and contribute to internally rebalancing the Euro area.

Suggested Citation

  • Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2013. "Future fiscal and debt policies: Germany in the Context of the European Monetary Union," IPE Working Papers 24/2013, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ipewps:242013
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/75289/1/749878800.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eckhard Hein, 2002. "Monetary policy and wage bargaining in the EMU: restrictive ECB policies, high unemployment, nominal wage restraint and inflation above the target," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 55(222), pages 299-337.
    2. Achim Truger & Katja Rietzler & Henner Will & Rudolf Zwiener, 2010. "Alternative Strategien der Budgetkonsolidierung in Österreich nach der Rezession," IMK Studies 02-2010, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    3. repec:ilo:ilowps:470934 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Thomas Herndon & Michael Ash & Robert Pollin, 2014. "Does high public debt consistently stifle economic growth? A critique of Reinhart and Rogoff," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 257-279.
    5. Engelbert Stockhammer & Eckhard Hein & Lucas Grafl, 2011. "Globalization and the effects of changes in functional income distribution on aggregate demand in Germany," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 1-23.
    6. Philip Arestis & Eckhard Hein & Edwin Le Héron, 2007. "Aspects of Modern Monetary and Macroeconomic Policies," Post-Print halshs-00155170, HAL.
    7. Eckhard Hein & Lena Vogel, 2009. "Distribution and Growth in France and Germany: Single Equation Estimations and Model Simulations Based on the Bhaduri/Marglin Model," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 245-272.
    8. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger & Till van Treeck, 2011. "The European Financial and Economic Crisis: Alternative Solutions from a (Post-) Keynesian Perspective," IMK Working Paper 9-2011, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    9. Louis-Philippe Rochon & Mark Setterfield, 2007. "Interest rates, income distribution, and monetary policy dominance: Post Keynesians and the "fair rate" of interest," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 13-42.
    10. Eckhard Hein & Engelbert Stockhammer, 2010. "Macroeconomic Policy Mix, Employment and Inflation in a Post-Keynesian Alternative to the New Consensus Model," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 317-354.
    11. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    12. Gregor Semieniuk & Till van Treeck & Achim Truger, 2012. "Nothing learned from the crisis? Some remarks on the stability programmes 2011–2014 of the Euro area governments," Chapters,in: Keynes’s General Theory for Today, chapter 11, pages 186-206 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
    14. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2006. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Performance in the Euro area - Lessons for the Future," IMK Working Paper 07-2006, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    15. Stephen Cecchetti & Madhusudan Mohanty & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2011. "The real effects of debt," BIS Working Papers 352, Bank for International Settlements.
    16. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    17. Eckhard Hein & Lena Vogel, 2008. "Distribution and growth reconsidered: empirical results for six OECD countries," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 479-511, May.
    18. Till van Treeck & Silke Tober & Achim Truger & Michael Brecht, 2010. "Squaring the circle in Euroland? Some remarks on the Stability and Convergence Programmes 2010-2013," IMK Working Paper 3-2010, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    19. van Treeck, Till. & Sturn, Simon., 2012. "Income inequality as a cause of the Great Recession? : A survey of current debates," ILO Working Papers 994709343402676, International Labour Organization.
    20. Eckhard Hein, 2013. "The crisis of finance-dominated capitalism in the euro area, deficiencies in the economic policy architecture, and deflationary stagnation policies," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 325-354.
    21. C. W.M. Naastepad & Servaas Storm, 2007. "OECD demand regimes (1960-2000)," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 29(2), pages 211-246, January.
    22. Anthony P. Thirlwall, 2011. "The Balance of Payments Constraint as an Explanation of International Growth Rate Differences," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 64(259), pages 429-438.
    23. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2006. "Germany's post-2000 stagnation in the European context - a lesson in macroeconomic mismanagement," IMK Working Paper 03-2006, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    24. Christian Dreger & Jiri Slacalek, 2007. "Finanzmarktentwicklung, Immobilienpreise und Konsum," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 74(35), pages 533-536.
    25. Achim Truger & Henner Will, 2013. "The German “debt brake”: a shining example for European fiscal policy?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 153-188.
    26. A. P. Thirlwall, 2002. "The Nature of Economic Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2579.
    27. Thomas I. Palley, 2011. "Monetary Union Stability: The Need for a Government Banker and the Case for a European Public Finance Authority," IMK Working Paper 2-2011, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    28. repec:ilo:ilowps:470932 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2014. "Fiscal Policy and Rebalancing in the Euro Area: A Critique of the German Debt Brake from a Post-Keynesian Perspective," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(1), pages 21-38, Februar.
    2. Detzer, Daniel & Hein, Eckhard, 2014. "Finance-dominated capitalism in Germany: Deep recession and quick recovery," IPE Working Papers 39/2014, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    3. Eckhard Hein & Daniel Detzer, 2014. "Coping with imbalances in the Euro area: Policy alternatives addressing divergences and disparities between member countries," Working papers wpaper63, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    4. Detzer, Daniel & Hein, Eckhard, 2014. "Financialisation and the financial and economic crises: The case of Germany," IPE Working Papers 44/2014, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    5. Jorg Bibow, 2013. "Lost at Sea: The Euro Needs a Euro Treasury," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_780, Levy Economics Institute.
    6. Jörg Bibow, 2013. "Lost at Sea:The Euro Needs a Euro Treasury," FMG Special Papers sp227, Financial Markets Group.
    7. Jörg Bibow, 2013. "Lost at Sea: The Euro Needs a Euro Treasury," IMK Studies 35-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    8. repec:ilo:ilowps:484519 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; government deficits and debt; debt brake; fiscal compact; Germany; Euro area;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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