Designing a European Fiscal Union: Lessons from the Experience of Fiscal Federations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Designing a European Fiscal Union

Lessons from the Experience of Fiscal Federations, 1st Edition

Edited by Carlo Cottarelli, Martine Guerguil


262 pages | 50 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138783225
pub: 2014-11-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315768793
pub: 2014-11-13
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Does the European Union need closer fiscal integration, and in particular a stronger fiscal centre, to become more resilient to economic shocks? This book looks at the experience of 13 federal states to help inform the heated debate on this issue. It analyses in detail their practices in devolving responsibilities from the subnational to the central level, compares them to those of the European Union, and draws lessons for a possible future fiscal union in Europe.

More specifically, this book tries to answer three sets of questions: What is the role of centralized fiscal policies in federations, and hence the size, features and functions of the central budget? What institutional arrangements are used to coordinate fiscal policy between the federal and subnational levels? What are the links between federal and subnational debt, and how have subnational financing crises been handled, when they occurred? These policy questions are critical in many federations, and central to the current discussions about future paths for the European Union.

This book brings to the table new, practical insights through a systematic and comprehensive comparison of the EU fiscal framework with that of federal states. It also departs from the decentralization perspective that has been prominent in the literature by focusing on the role of the centre (which responsibilities are centralized at the federal level and how they are handled, rather than which functions belong to the local level). Such an approach is particularly relevant for the European Union, where a fiscal union would imply granting new powers to the centre.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Overview Chapter 1. Distribution of Fiscal Responsibilities in Federations Chapter 2. The Role of Fiscal Transfers in Smoothing Regional Shock Chapter 3. Constraints on Sub-national Fiscal Policy Chapter 4. Budgeting, Accounting, and Reporting Chapter 5. Financing of Central and Sub-national Governments Chapter 6. Sub-national Fiscal Crises Chapter 7. Lesson from the Crisis: Minimal Elements for a Fiscal Union in the Euro Area

About the Editors

Carlo Cottarelli is a Special Commissioner for Public Spending in Italy. Previously, he was Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF.

Martine Guerguil oversees the preparation of the IMF flagship Fiscal Monitor. In her previous positions in the IMF, Martine Guerguil led work on debt sustainability and debt relief and on macroeconomic policy design in Latin America and Africa.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the European Economy

Routledge Studies in the European Economy is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Featuring compact and well researched volumes of 150 to 300 pages, the series provides a range of content considering the European economy alongside history, politics, cultural studies, agriculture, education, globalisation, and other subjects, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / Economics