There has been renewed interest in economic analysis of the EU budget following the Global Crisis. This column presents new calculations of cross-border flows operated through the EU budget and compares them with those estimated for the US. For each euro paid by an average net (EU member state) contributor, approximately 75 cents return through the EU budget, and 25 cents cross a border. At the margin, the US federal budget is less redistributive in normal times, with around 90 cents per dollar returning to the contributing state, but net cross-border fiscal flows in the US increased steeply in the wake of the Global Crisis, financed by federal borrowing.
Pasquale D'Apice, 13 September 2016
Guido Tabellini, 24 April 2016
In order to preserve financial integration and stability, the Eurozone needs to build elements of a common fiscal policy. This column, first posted 12 February 2016, discusses how this could be done. It proposes the creation of a European Fiscal Institute, modelled on principles similar to those used for the ECB. Such an establishment would require treaty and constitutional reforms in member states, which would not be politically feasible in the short term.
Richard Baldwin, Francesco Giavazzi, 12 February 2016
Important progress has been made in repairing the design faults that the EZ Crisis revealed. This column introduces a new VoxEU eBook which argues that fixing the Eurozone is a job half done. The eBook, which presents 18 chapters by leading economists that hail from a broad range of nations and schools of thought, is surely the most comprehensive collection of solutions that has ever been assembled.
Daniel Gros, 19 March 2014
Since the onset of the sovereign debt crisis, the argument for a system of fiscal transfers to offset idiosyncratic shocks in the Eurozone has gained adherents. This column argues that what the Eurozone really needs is not a system which offsets all shocks by some small fraction, but a system which protects against shocks which are rare, but potentially catastrophic. A system of fiscal insurance with a fixed deductible would therefore be preferable to a fiscal shock absorber that offsets a certain percentage of all fiscal shocks.
Daniel Gros, 27 November 2012
An integrated banking system saved Nevada after a local real estate boom turned to bust. Without an integrated banking system, the same wasn’t true of Ireland. This column argues that comparing Ireland and Nevada shows that banking union is far more important for Europe than current proposals of fiscal union. And, in the absence of a proper banking union that covers losses, it seems ever more likely that Europe will be pushed back towards nationally segmented financial markets.
Mathias Hoffmann, Bent Sørensen, 09 November 2012
How do members of existing monetary unions share risk? Drawing on a decade of research, this column argues that fiscal transfers in fact make a limited contribution to economic coherence. In the context of Europe’s current crisis, the evidence suggests that unfinished capital market integration must be completed if we wish to see adequate and effective risk sharing.
Rabah Arezki, Bertrand Candelon, Amadou Sy, 01 August 2012
What are the spillover effects within a fiscal union? This column looks at evidence within bond markets for individual US states and the market for US Treasury securities. Results are twofold. First, there are negative spillovers between most markets for individual US state bonds. Second, there is no substantial spillover effect between shocks originating from state securities and from federal markets, except for a few large issuers.
Avinash Persaud, 25 April 2012
Does Europe need a fiscal union to support its monetary union? This column argues that the cause of Europe’s problems is not public sector ill discipline but rather private sector ill discipline. In such a situation, it asks whether we should be trying to save a drowning man by putting him in a straightjacket.
C Randall Henning, Martin Kessler, 25 January 2012
In the last few months, several Vox columns have drawn parallels between Europe today and an emerging – and even less stable – United States in the eighteenth century. This column stresses that Europe’s leaders in search of a fiscal union need not seek to replicate the US experience but they should at least learn from it.
Hans-Werner Sinn, 18 November 2011
The first major crisis in the era of independent central banks is severely testing that independence – nowhere more so than the Eurozone. This column argues that the ECB is monetising the sovereign debt – a view widely held in Germany. It argues that the ECB is the Eurozone’s economic government with the power to enforce comprehensive rescue measures, up to and including a fiscal transfer union.
Nicolas Véron, 13 October 2011
Europe, and the Eurozone especially, is years into an economic crisis. This column argues that if the euro is to survive, Eurozone citizens will have to accept the surrender of economic policy decision-making on an unprecedented scale.
Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 02 October 2011
One of the many proposals for escaping the Eurozone crisis is to follow in the footsteps of Argentina since its currency fiasco a decade ago. This column points out the realities of such a path: regressive wealth transfers and debt dilution. Against this dismal backdrop, a fiscal union might well be a better option.