Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/18963
Authors: 
Hedbavny, Petr
Schneider, Ondřej
Zapal, Jan
Year of Publication: 
2005
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 1499
Abstract: 
In this paper, we set out to examine an efficient fiscal-policy framework for a monetary union. We illustrate that fiscal policy's bias toward budget deficit only temporarily ceased at the end of the 20th century as European countries endeavored to qualify for euro-zone membership, which compelled strict limits on budgetary deficits. We then explore which mechanisms might instill a sense of fiscal disciple in governments. We find that most mechanisms suffer from the incentive-incompatible setup whereby governments restrict their own fiscal-policy freedom. We argue that even multilateral fiscal rules, such as the EU's Stability and Growth Pact, suffer from the same endogeneity flaw. Consequently, we argue that a fiscal rule must incorporate an external authority that would impartially assess fiscal-policy developments. Using U.S. debt and bond-market data at the state level, we show that financial markets represent a good candidate as, vis-?-vis the American states, they do differentiate state debt according to the level of debt. We thus argue for a fiscal institution??what we call the Fiscal Sustainability Council??that would actively bring financial markets into the fiscal-policy process, and we explain the technique whereby this could be effected.
Subjects: 
fiscal policy
European Union
sustainability
JEL: 
H6
H87
E6
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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