FESSUD French partners (OFCE), represented by Jérôme Creel, Paul Hubert and Francesco Saraceno, published an article in the ‘Journal of Economic Integration’, entitled “The European Fiscal Compact: A Counterfactual Assessment.”
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Faced with the global financial crisis and an increasingly worrisome sovereign-debt crisis, the Eurozone countries are rethinking their fiscal governance. This paper discusses the different reforms and subsequent fiscal rules which have emerged since 2011. It assesses the impact of fiscal rules on the output gap and inflation rate of three representative countries of the Eurozone. By means of a counterfactual, the rules based upon their macroeconomic outcomes are ranked. The new debt reduction rule would certainly lead to lower debt levels, hence to larger fiscal margins for maneuver in the future but, in steep contrast with the golden rule of public finance, it would be very costly to implement as the requirement to enforce a substantial consolidation in the short run would be considerably higher than that of a golden rule and would worsen the output gap and inflation rate. The cap on the cyclically adjusted deficit also leads to unfavorable outcomes whereas the Maastricht status quo, limiting overall public deficit, would be a “second best” behind the golden rule of public finance.