Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics 41-2014
In response to the recent sovereign debt crisis, the member states of the European Union agreed to enact balanced budget rules in their national legislation. However, little is known about the public's opinion of balanced budget rules. To fill this gap, we conducted a survey among 2,000 representatively chosen German citizens. Our findings suggest that 61% of the German population supports the debt brake, whereas only 8% oppose it. However, approval rates differ notably among various subgroups of the population. The debt brake enjoys greater support among high-income earners and among those well-informed about the future costs of deficit spending. People who do not trust politicians would like to see the government's hands tied even more tightly. Opinions about the debt brake also differ markedly across the supporters of different political parties.
Debt brake balanced budget rule European Fiscal Compact survey Germany