Bert Smid, Beau Soederhuizen, Rutger Teulings, 10 September 2018

The transition to a European banking union is not straightforward. A key issue is how to prioritise risk sharing and risk reduction. This column examines three possible approaches, describing the respective transition scenarios and analysing the consequences for banks during the transition phase. None of the scenarios is optimal for all countries, but waiting too long may lead to solutions needing to be found under the pressure of a new crisis.

Jean Pisani-Ferry, Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 20 August 2018

The proposed package of reforms from the team of French and German economists aimed at increasing the stability of the euro area has sparked a lively debate on Vox. In this column, two of the paper’s authors respond to some of the criticisms of their proposals, focusing on the broad issues of debt restructuring as ‘ultima ratio’ and regulating banks’ sovereign exposures.

Lars Feld, 31 July 2018

In their CEPR Policy Insight, the team of French and German economists focus on a compromise between market discipline and risk sharing. This column, part of the VoxEU debate on euro area reform, argues that their proposal fails to address legacy debt problems convincingly and that the introduction of a fiscal capacity would repeat the mistakes made at the introduction of EMU, with later steps towards European integration being attempted before the necessary first steps have been taken.

Guido Tabellini, 16 July 2018

A key question in the debate on the reform of the euro area concerns the right mix between risk sharing and market discipline. This column, part of the VoxEU debate on the topic, argues that proposals to enhance market discipline in the euro area are counter-productive, because they increase the vulnerabilities of countries with high legacy debts. 

Rafael Doménech, Miguel Otero Iglesias , Federico Steinberg, 15 June 2018

Deepening of EMU cannot wait until all countries have carried out all their domestic reforms, both risk sharing and risk reduction need to proceed simultaneously. In fact, all euro area countries are exposed to the risk of an incomplete monetary and economic union but with very asymmetric costs. This column, part of the VoxEU debate on euro area reform, argues that this risk can only be tackled with common instruments and policies at the European level, whose mere existence will reduce not only its magnitude but also its asymmetric consequences. 

Peter Bofinger, 15 May 2018

The recent proposals for euro area reform from a team of French and German economists have initiated an intensive debate. This column, part of VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, argues that the specific insolvency risk of euro area membership is the main risk that should be covered by joint risk sharing, and that the modest proposals for public and private risk sharing are insufficient in this regard.

Roel Beetsma, Martin Larch, 10 May 2018

The key question in the policy debate on the next steps for the Economic and Monetary Union seems to be whether we can progress with integration in a context where some countries perceive themselves as consistently paying for policy mistakes of others, while others see themselves victims of a moral diktat. This column, adding to VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, argues that the policy dilemma around a central fiscal capacity can only be overcome if fiscal risk sharing and risk reduction advance in parallel. Therefore, reform of EU fiscal rules need to receive more attention. 

Marco Buti, Gabriele Giudice, José Leandro, 25 April 2018

The debate on deepening EMU is entering a critical stage. This column, contributing to VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate argues that while the proposals in a recent CEPR Policy Insight are both timely and attractive, the mix seems unbalanced and carries significant risks. The focus of the proposals on reducing fiscal risks could lead to financial distress, ultimately requiring more, not fewer, rescues.

Andrew Watt, 23 April 2018

There is currently both an economic and a political window of opportunity for reform in the euro area. This column, which forms part of VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the proposals in the recent CEPR Policy Insight and makes recommendations for extensions and alternatives.

Vesa Vihriälä, 13 April 2018

The smooth functioning of the EMU requires risk sharing. This column, which joins VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, argues, however, that its best use is not in the support of fiscal expansion in recession countries, but in ensuring the liquidity of solvent sovereigns under market pressure. Giving the ESM/EMF access to central bank financing should be explored as a means to facilitate it.

Sebastian Dullien, 11 April 2018

The recently published CEPR Policy Insight by a team of French and German economists proposes a package of reforms to make progress on risk sharing and risk reduction in the euro area. This column, which forms part of VoxEU's Euro Area Reform debate, argues that while many of the package’s elements make sense, it leaves too many questions open and fails to address a number of central problems of EMU architecture.

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This online seminar will argue that market discipline and risk sharing should be viewed as complementary pillars of the euro area financial architecture, rather than as substitutes. Achieving this complementarity, however, is not easy. It calls for stabilisation and insurance mechanisms that are both effective and cannot give rise to permanent transfers. And it requires a reformed institutional framework. 

Against this background, the seminar will present and discuss the recent Euro Area reform proposal formulated in a CEPR Policy Insight by a group of independent French and German economists with differing views and political sensitivities but a shared conviction that the current deadlock must be overcome.

Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Markus K Brunnermeier, Henrik Enderlein, Emmanuel Farhi, Marcel Fratzscher, Clemens Fuest, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Philippe Martin, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Hélène Rey, Isabel Schnabel, Nicolas Véron, Beatrice Weder di Mauro, Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 17 January 2018

The euro area continues to suffer from critical weaknesses that are the result of a poorly designed fiscal and financial architecture, but its members are divided on how to address the problems. This column proposes six reforms which, if delivered as a package, would improve the euro area’s financial stability, political cohesion, and potential for delivering prosperity to its citizens, all while addressing the priorities and concerns of participating countries.

Marco Buti, Servaas Deroose, José Leandro, Gabriele Giudice, 13 July 2017

Despite much being done to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union, it remains incomplete and this is one of the main reasons for the Eurozone's lacklustre economic performance in the recent years. While there are still diverging views on how to "cross the river", there is also a political and economic window of opportunity to complete the EMU architecture. This column discusses the ideas presented in a new European Commission Reflection Paper aimed at relaunching the debate on how to move forward, with a focus on bridging the differences between the member states that stress responsibility and risk reduction and those calling for solidarity and risk sharing.

Tessa Bold, Tobias Broer, 16 February 2017

The substantial literature examining risk-sharing practices in rural villages in developing countries has typically taken the social institutions in these communities as given. Using data from India, this column challenges this assumption by showing how the costs and benefits of risk-sharing arrangements can shape these social institutions. The results suggest that the size and nature of these risk-sharing groups may evolve over time as their environment changes. Public policy to reduce consumption fluctuations can be counterproductive in the standard model because of a strong crowding-out effect.

Sylvester Eijffinger, 31 August 2016

The ECB is under fire from all sides for its inability to stimulate Europe's economies. This column puts the case for an informal European ‘praesidium’ within the Eurogroup to coordinate wider stimulus and reform measures. This will inevitably lead to the appointment of a European finance minister – the Eurozone's equivalent of Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary in the history of the US.

Kristin Forbes, 16 May 2016

Current accounts deficits are driven by different variables, with a trade deficit being a major component. In this video, Kristin Forbes outlines a model to understand when deficits are worrying. When countries run current account deficits, we need to go beyond trade deficits and focus on financial channels and vulnerabilities. Deficits can be risky, but can also be risk-sharing. This video was recorded in March 2016 during the Royal Economic Society’s Annual Conference held at the University of Sussex.

Stefano Micossi, 07 September 2015

The sovereign debt and banking crises of 2010-12 have led to significant changes in the institutions of the Eurozone. The credibility of common policies regarding budgetary discipline and economic convergence remains weak. This chapter proposes that the way forward is to gradually bring common economic policies under the oversight of the European Parliament and to strengthen the role of the Commission. The picture must be completed with getting national parliaments more involved in the European policy process. The present state of the Eurozone could be seen as a sort of political equilibrium, likely to be economically unstable.

Margherita Comola, Marcel Fafchamps, 04 November 2014

How should researchers investigate the true role of people’s self-reported social links in getting a job, getting a favour or simply getting information? This column introduces a framework to estimate the process by which people’s self-reported social links are formed. The authors show that different link formation rules predict the different network structures seen in data from a risk-sharing survey in a Tanzanian village and the diffusion of agricultural knowledge in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

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.

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