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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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    3. Alberto Alesina & Tamim Bayoumi, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Fiscal Rules: Evidence from U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Willman, Alpo, 2002. "Euro area production function and potential output: a supply side system approach," Working Paper Series 0153, European Central Bank.
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    13. Buiter, Willem H. & Corsetti, Giancarlo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "`Excessive Deficits': Sense and Nonsense in the Treaty of Maastricht," CEPR Discussion Papers 750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. 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).
    15. 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.
    16. Missale, Alessandro, 1999. "Public Debt Management," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290858.
    17. 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.
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    19. 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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