Fiscal Federalism in Europe: Is it a Necessary Precondition for a Successful European Economic and Monetary Integration?


Norbert Berthold

Publication Date:

June 1, 1994

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


An important question in the process of European integration concerns the best institutional level for stabilization policies. The theory of fiscal federalism gives criteria for evaluating if fiscal stabilization policies should take place on a centralized or on a decentralized level. This paper firstly discusses the usefulness of such policies. It reaches the conclusion that fiscal stabilization polices are in general not the adequate way of responding to shocks. However, since fiscal stabilization policies appear to be unavoidable for political reasons, the paper secondly discusses on which institutional level such policies should be located. Decentralized fiscal stabilization policies are preferable because they are disciplined more by market forces.


Working Paper No. 1994/074



Publication Date:

June 1, 1994



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