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Stefan Van Parys

8 April 2020
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 239
Details
Abstract
After the financial and economic crisis in Europe, a broad consensus has emerged that a stronger fiscal dimension may be needed to complete the architecture of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This paper analyses the performance of interregional transfers in existing fiscal-federal systems, notably in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the United States, and aims to draw lessons for the design of a euro area fiscal instrument. The empirical risk-sharing analysis in this paper suggests that effective cross-regional stabilisation of asymmetric shocks tends to work via direct cash transfers to households, such as unemployment benefits, which are financed out of cyclical central government taxes and social security contributions. This would suggest that a euro area budgetary instrument for stabilisation should be designed as a tool that enhances the automatic stabilisation capacity in the single currency area. At the same time, it seems important that a prospective central stabilisation instrument for the euro area would be integrated in an overall fiscal policy framework that ensures proper incentives for national policymakers.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H11 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H77 : Public Economics→State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations→Intergovernmental Relations, Federalism, Secession