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Governing the Euro Area in Good Times and Bad$
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Dermot Hodson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572502

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572502.001.0001

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Profligacy, Prudence, and the Stability and Growth Pact

Profligacy, Prudence, and the Stability and Growth Pact

Chapter:
(p.56) (p.57) 4 Profligacy, Prudence, and the Stability and Growth Pact
Source:
Governing the Euro Area in Good Times and Bad
Author(s):

Dermot Hodson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572502.003.0004

Limited attention has been paid in the literature to the question of why some member states found it easier than others to comply with the euro area’s fiscal rules. Political institutionalism offers the most systematic attempt at an explanation, suggesting that the stability and growth pact provides a better institutional fit for member states that rely on numerical rules to enforce fiscal discipline than those that depend on delegation to strong finance ministers. Presenting data on electoral regimes and fiscal policy in euro area members during the first decade of the euro, this chapter challenges political institutionalism’s critique of the stability and growth pact but concurs with its more fundamental insight about the limits of policy coordination in the European Union in the absence of well-formed national institutions.

Keywords:   stability and growth pact, fiscal rules, political institutionalism

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