The Political Economy of Euro Area Sovereign Debt Restructuring
26 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2021
Date Written: 2021
The establishment of a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism (SDRM) is one of the important issues in the academic debate on a viable constitution for the European Monetary Union (EMU). Yet the topic seems to be taboo in official reform contributions to the debate. Against this backdrop, the article identifies the SDRM interests of key players, including the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Central Bank and national governments. The empirical section takes advantage of the recently established EMU Positions Database. The findings confirm political economy expectations: Low-debt countries support an EMU constitution that includes an insolvency procedure whereas a coalition of high-debt countries and European institutions oppose it. The analysis points towards a possible political-economic equilibrium for coping with sovereign insolvencies: an institutional set-up without a SDRM and with hidden transfers. Recent European fiscal innovations in response to the Covid-19 solvency shock confirm this prediction.
Keywords: sovereign debt restructuring mechanism, banking regulation, EMU reform, fiscal union
JEL Classification: H63, H87, F53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation