A Challenge for the G20: Globally Stipulated Debt Brakes and Transnational Independent Fiscal Supervisory Councils

20 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2011

See all articles by Mathias Dolls

Mathias Dolls

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Andreas Peichl

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research; University of Mannheim - School of Economics (VWL); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Global Labor Organization (GLO); UNU-MERIT; Maastricht University, Department of Economics; Free University Berlin; University of Bonn; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Journal of Population Economics

Abstract

Debt-to-GDP ratios have grown to unprecedented levels in many industrialized economies. This requires disciplined consolidation efforts which are, however, supposed to come now at the wrong time with the economic recovery being fragile. Against this background, we call for a global debt brake following the German example and discuss the political progress achieved at the most recent Euro and G20 summits. The agreement on the debt brake should be binding and hence be fixed in national constitutions and monitored by independent transnational fiscal councils. The fiscal councils could be located at the ESM and the IMF and should conduct a regular evaluation of national budget plans. In an economic and political environment which is characterized by large uncertainties concerning economic prospects and the fear of a potential spreading of the sovereign debt crisis, a global debt brake in combination with an independent transnational supervisory council would send a credible signal that a reduction of sovereign debt to sustainable levels is not further delayed into the future. The new fiscal policy framework thus leaves enough room for discretionary fiscal policy and the workings of automatic stabilizers in an economic downturn.

Keywords: debt brake, fiscal council, G20

JEL Classification: H1, H3, H6

Suggested Citation

Dolls, Mathias and Peichl, Andreas and Zimmermann, Klaus F., A Challenge for the G20: Globally Stipulated Debt Brakes and Transnational Independent Fiscal Supervisory Councils. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6160, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1968111

Mathias Dolls (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Andreas Peichl

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
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D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

University of Mannheim - School of Economics (VWL) ( email )

Mannheim 68131
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Bonn
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://glabor.org/

UNU-MERIT ( email )

Keizer Karelplein 19
Maastricht, 6211TC
Netherlands

Maastricht University, Department of Economics ( email )

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Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

University of Bonn

Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Journal of Population Economics

Tiergartenstr. 17
D-69121 Heidelberg
Germany

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