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The Stability and Growth Pact - Not the best but better than nothing. Reviewing the debate on fiscal policy in Europe's Monetary Union

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  • Heipertz, Martin

Abstract

This paper aims to review the economic literature on the Maastricht deficit rule and the Stability and Growth Pact. The author tries to expose the contradictions and inconclusiveness of the debate, highlighting both the criticism and the defense of the fiscal policy regime in EMU. The paper is non-technical and seeks to provide an overview for a readership outside the economics profession. The concluding judgment is that the pact can be criticized on a number of grounds, but that the lack of a politically feasible alternative makes it a second best solution that should not be undermined in the present crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Heipertz, Martin, 2003. "The Stability and Growth Pact - Not the best but better than nothing. Reviewing the debate on fiscal policy in Europe's Monetary Union," MPIfG Working Paper 03/10, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgw:0310
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    2. Dixit, Avinash & Lambertini, Luisa, 2001. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and commitment versus discretion in a monetary union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 977-987, May.
    3. Bas van Aarle & Giovanni Di Bartolomeo & Jacob Engwerda & Joseph Plasmans, 2002. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Design in the EMU: An Overview," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 321-340, October.
    4. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & McAdam, Peter, 1996. "Four Essays and a Funeral: Budgetary Arithmetic under the Maastricht Treaty," CEPR Discussion Papers 1505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Buiter, W.H. & Corsetti, G. & Roubini, N., 1992. "Excessive Deficits: Sense and Nonsence in the Treaty of Maastricht," Papers 674, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    6. Jürgen von Hagen & Andrew Hughes Hallett & Rolf Strauch, 2001. "Budgetary Consolidation in EMU," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 148, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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    12. von Hagen, Jurgen & Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Federalism, Fiscal Restraints, and European Monetary Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 134-138, May.
    13. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "Tax Smoothing Discretion Versus Balanced Budget Rules in the Presence of Politically Motivated Fiscal Deficits: The Design of Optimal Fiscal Rules for Europe after 1992," CEPR Discussion Papers 682, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    15. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1986. "Fiscal Policies in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 564-594, June.
    16. 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.
    17. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Do Budget Rules Work?," NBER Working Papers 5550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Fritz Breuss & Andrea Weber, 1999. "Economic Policy Coordination in the EMU: Implications for the Stability Pact," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 26, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
    19. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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