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EU Fiscal Policy Coordination in Hard TimesFree Riders on the Storm$
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Charlotte Rommerskirchen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829010

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829010.001.0001

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Market Discipline

Market Discipline

(p.110) 7 Market Discipline
EU Fiscal Policy Coordination in Hard Times

Charlotte Rommerskirchen

Oxford University Press

Free riding is endemic. But it is not the type of first-order free riding that politicians and EU officials publicly chastised. Instead, fiscal policy coordination is burdened by a serious internal enforcement problem; that is, second-order free riding. The argument presented here is different from the usual decrying of a lack of enforcement in fiscal policy coordination, which is said to invite member states to engage in rampant fiscal free riding. This chapter contests that without internal enforcement within the EU, fiscal policy coordination has come to rely on market discipline with dire consequences for its members. The chapter demonstrates that, in contrast to fiscal rules and intergovernmental agreements, the incentives provided by market discipline shape public finances.

Keywords:   second-order free riding, collective action, market discipline, sovereign bond markets, fiscal policy, European Union, Eurozone, Great Recession

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