Archive for February, 2012

On Fiscal Rules and the Need for Reforming the Stability Pact

February 27, 2012 1 comment

I recently wrote a paper with Jerome Creel and Paul Hubert, in which we try to assess the impact of the different fiscal rules that are being discussed for reforming the Eurozone governance. For our simulations we took into account the standard Keynesian positive effects of deficit spending: Government expenditure substitutes missing private demand, and hence supports economic activity. But we also embedded a negative effect of deficit and debt, that goes through increased interest rates (the famous spreads). High interest rates make it harder for the private sector to finance spending, and hence depress aggregate demand and growth. We assessed the performance of the rules in terms of average growth over the next 20 years.

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On Wage Reduction and the Contract Between Workers and the State

February 17, 2012 2 comments

My colleague Sezgin Polat, of Galatasaray University, has an interesting idea on wages and the burden of the crisis. All the more interesting, that just yesterday the ECB called for further wage flexibility, at a moment in which aggregate demand is despairingly low in the eurozone. Here is Sezgin’s proposal (I shortened it):

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Austerity is not Enough

February 10, 2012 1 comment

OFCE le blog has posted the English translation of an article I wrote with André Grjebine a few weeks ago, for the French daily Le Monde. We commented the Standard & Poor’s  downgrades, developing the points I had made here.

I maintain that the motivation of S&P marks a turning point in the debate on EMU governance. It was the first time that a major market participant explicitly challenged the priorities that the German leadership is imposing to Europe.

The current discussion on the Greek austerity plan shows that markets are joining those who preach to the desert.