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Journal Cover CESifo Economic Studies
  [SJR: 0.599]   [H-I: 15]   [7 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1610-241X - ISSN (Online) 1612-7501
   Published by Oxford University Press Homepage  [358 journals]
  • Are Bubbles Bad? Is a Higher Debt Target for the Eurozone
    • Authors: Teulings; C.
      Pages: 197 - 209
      Abstract: Bubbles are usually viewed as a threat to financial stability. This paper takes a more nuanced view. The world economy is going through an episode of Secular Stagnation, where the equilibrium rate of return on capital r is below the growth rate of the economy g. As is well-known, rational bubbles are sustainable when r ≤ g in a steady-state equilibrium. Bubbles can then implement a dynamically efficient equilibrium. We show that from a structural point of view, bubbles, Pay-As-You-Go pensions, and sovereign debt are perfect substitutes. However, when dealing with unexpected short-run fluctuations in investment, sovereign debt is far more efficient than bubbles in shifting consumption over time and in risk-sharing between generations. An increase in sovereign debt is, therefore, an efficient response to Secular Stagnation. Instead, the current Stability and Growth Pact for the eurozone embarks on an opposite course. (JEL codes: E44 and E62).
      Keywords: E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, E62 - Fiscal Policy
      PubDate: 2016-06-11T01:40:02-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/cesifo/ifw011
      Issue No: Vol. 62, No. 2 (2016)
  • Reconciling Insurance with Market Discipline: a Blueprint for a European
           Fiscal Union
    • Authors: Dolls, M; Fuest, C, Heinemann, F, Peichl, A.
      Pages: 210 - 231
      Abstract: This contribution develops a blueprint for a European fiscal union. We argue that a viable European fiscal union can be constructed without joint liability for public debt or a centralized government with a large common budget. Such a fiscal union should combine elements of market discipline with stabilization in case of asymmetric shocks. Our proposal addresses the shortcomings of most other reform designs, which fail to offer a solution for insolvent or non-cooperative euro countries. We suggest a design which combines limited fiscal insurance with an orderly procedure to restructure the debt of insolvent member states. We show that fiscal insurance and a sovereign insolvency procedure are no contradiction but, on the contrary, are mutually reinforcing. Effective fiscal insurance helps to limit the stability risks involved in the implementation of an insolvency regime for sovereigns. And vice versa, a well-defined insolvency procedure reduces the risk that a fiscal capacity motivated as an insurance against transitory asymmetric shocks degenerates into a permanent transfer system. Moreover, we show that both elements promote the functioning of the European banking union and the new European fiscal governance.
      Keywords: H12 - Crisis Management, H87 - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
      PubDate: 2016-06-11T01:40:02-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/cesifo/ifw004
      Issue No: Vol. 62, No. 2 (2016)
  • Monetary Union, Even Higher Integration, or Back to National
    • Authors: Economides, G; Philippopoulos, A, Varthalitis, P.
      Pages: 232 - 255
      Abstract: This article quantifies the welfare differences among a monetary union, flexible exchange rates (economic disintegration) and a monetary plus fiscal transfer union (higher economic integration). The vehicle of analysis is a medium-scale New Keynesian DSGE model consisting of two heterogeneous countries. The model is solved using data from Germany and Italy. Our solutions imply that a switch to flexible exchange rates and independent monetary policies would have negligible welfare implications. A similar result applies when we add interregional fiscal transfers as insurance. By contrast, the addition of fiscal transfers as redistribution has non-trivial implications and these depend crucially on whether such one-sided transfers trigger moral hazard behavior. (JEL codes: E6, F3, H6)
      PubDate: 2016-06-11T01:40:02-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/cesifo/ifw002
      Issue No: Vol. 62, No. 2 (2016)
  • Fiscal Delegation in a Monetary Union with Decentralized Public Spending
    • Authors: Basso, H. S; Costain, J.
      Pages: 256 - 288
      Abstract: In a monetary union, the interaction between several governments and a single central bank is plagued by several sources of deficit bias, including common pool problems. Each government has strong preferences over local spending and taxation but suffers only part of the costs of union-wide inflation and higher interest rates, creating a tendency towards excessive debt. Motivated by the evident failure of fiscal rules to restrain debt in the European context, this article analyzes an alternative fiscal regime in which the control of sovereign debt issuance is delegated to an independent authority, while public spending decisions remain decentralized. Using a symmetric perfect-foresight model, we compare the long-run policy biases affecting a typical country across different institutional arrangements. Establishing an independent fiscal authority tends to reduce debt via three distinct channels: first, the debt aversion induced by its mandate; second, its greater patience, compared to an elected institution; and third, the internalization of common pool problems, if the authority is established at the union-wide level. Furthermore, we show that fiscal delegation is more effective in restraining debt, and more informationally efficient, than the establishment of a federal government which would centralize fiscal decisions. (JEL code: E61, E62, F41, H63)
      Keywords: E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination, E62 - Fiscal Policy, F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, H63 - Debt; Debt Management
      PubDate: 2016-06-11T01:40:02-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/cesifo/ifw005
      Issue No: Vol. 62, No. 2 (2016)
  • A Decentralization Theorem of Taxation
    • Authors: Lipatov, V; Weichenrieder, A.
      Pages: 289 - 300
      Abstract: In the European Union (EU), there are longstanding and ongoing pressures toward a tax that is levied on the EU level to substitute for national contributions. We discuss conditions under which such a transition can make sense, starting from what we call a ‘decentralization theorem of taxation’ that is analogous to Oates’ (1972) famous result that in the absence of spillover effects and economies of scale, decentralized public good provision weakly dominates central provision. We then drop assumptions that turn out to be unnecessary for this result. While spillover effects of taxation may call for central rules for taxation, as long as spillover effects do not depend on the intra-regional distribution of the tax burden, decentralized taxation plus tax coordination is found superior to a union-wide tax.
      Keywords: H21 - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation, H77 - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism; Secession
      PubDate: 2016-06-11T01:40:02-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/cesifo/ifw003
      Issue No: Vol. 62, No. 2 (2016)
  • Revenue for EMU: A Contribution to the Debate on Fiscal Union
    • Authors: Iara; A.
      Pages: 301 - 331
      Abstract: In the wake of the euro area crisis, the debate on instruments to deepen economic integration among its members has intensified, among others putting forward a fiscal stabilization capacity for Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) members. Contributions made so far to further this idea have mostly concentrated on the expenditure side and possible stabilization properties. This analysis reviews the most important proposals and discusses design choices and institutional conditions to develop the revenue side of such a fiscal instrument.
      Keywords: H29 - Other, H77 - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism; Secession, H87 - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
      PubDate: 2016-06-11T01:40:02-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/cesifo/ifw012
      Issue No: Vol. 62, No. 2 (2016)
  • Smoothing Asymmetric Shocks vs. Redistribution in the Euro Area: a Simple
           Proposal for Dealing with Mistrust
    • Authors: Oksanen; H.
      Pages: 332 - 375
      Abstract: The euro area will not have a centralized budget, and smoothing of country-specific asymmetric shocks via private financial markets will develop only slowly. Mistrust among the governments has caused rigid, even pro-cyclical, fiscal policies. Smoothing mechanisms are absent due to the fear that the transfers would develop into permanent redistribution. For removing these deficiencies, we propose a transfer mechanism to be managed in periods of 7 years so that the cumulative balance of each country is cleared in equal instalments during the subsequent 7-year period. The transfers would smoothen asymmetric shocks and alleviate the rigidity of the fiscal rules.
      Keywords: E42 - Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System, E62 - Fiscal Policy, H10 - General
      PubDate: 2016-06-11T01:40:02-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/cesifo/ifw009
      Issue No: Vol. 62, No. 2 (2016)
  • Toward a Mutualization of European Unemployment Insurance? On Limiting
           the Downsides of a Fiscal Transfer System for the Eurozone
    • Authors: Hebous, S; Weichenrieder, A.
      Pages: 376 - 395
      Abstract: There is a large, yet growing debate about the need to complement the European monetary union with a stronger fiscal union. This article reviews the potential trade-offs between effectiveness, moral hazard problems, and permanent redistribution. Addressing the counter-arguments against a tighter fiscal union is essential to overcome the political reluctance in some member states that are concerned about large amounts of redistribution. We discuss clawback mechanisms that have been suggested in the literature as a measure to limit redistribution, but conclude that clawbacks are undesirable, as they would essentially destroy the insurance value of a fiscal union. Instead, we propose that a clearly defined exit option as a guarantee against involuntary redistribution can make entry into a stronger fiscal union less risky and hence more attractive for member states.
      PubDate: 2016-06-11T01:40:02-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/cesifo/ifw010
      Issue No: Vol. 62, No. 2 (2016)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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