NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Jürgen von Hagen

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Working Papers

May 1998Macroeconomic Policy and Institutions During the Transition to European Union Membership
with William H. Branson, Jorge Braga de Macedo: w6555
A framework is developed for macroeconomic policy analysis in four countries of Central Europe (CE) in transition to EU membership (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia). A Multi-Annual Fiscal Adjustment Strategy (MAFAS) and a Pre-Pegging Exchange Rate Regime (PPERR) appropriate for maintaining internal and external balance are described and evidence on budgetary procedures is presented, in comparison with those prevailing in EU member states. The comparison suggests that the four CE countries are better fit for fiscal stabilization than Greece, Spain and Portugal were in the 1970s. Nevertheless, there is still much room for institutional improvement. A stronger commitment mechanism to fiscal targets at the preparatory stage would improve fiscal performance in all four countries. ...
December 1997Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union
with Mark Hallerberg: w6341
A rough consensus has emerged that states with proportional representation systems are" likely to run larger deficits than plurality states. We argue that electoral institutions matter because" they restrict the type of budgetary institution at the governmental phase which a state has at its" disposal. Cabinet members may willingly delegate authority to a finance minister who can monitor" spending ministers and punish those who defect' in a process we label delegation procedure is feasible in states where one-party governments are the norm. Such states usually have" plurality electoral systems. In multi-party governments, which are common in states with" proportional representation, the coalition members are not willing to delegate to one actor the ability" to monitor and punish the ...
March 1996Fiscal Policy and Monetary Union: Is There a Tradeoff between Federalism and Budgetary Restrictions?
with Barry Eichengreen: w5517
The Maastricht Treaty on Europe Union features an Excessive Deficit Procedure limiting the freedom to borrow of governments participating in the European monetary union. One justification is to prevent states from over- borrowing and demanding a bailout which could divert the European Central Bank from its pursuit of price stability. We challenge this rationale. Using data for a cross section of federal states, we find no association between monetary union and restraints on borrowing by subcentral governments. There is,however, an association between fiscal restraints and the share of the tax base under the control of sub-national authorities. Restraints are prevalent where subcentral governments finance a relatively small share of spending with their own taxes. Lacking control of the t...

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