Post-Crisis Fiscal Consolidation Strategies for Europe


Driven both by anti-cyclical policies and bank rescue packages public deficits have reached record levels in numerous EU countries. After some successful years of debt reduction debt levels thus are pushed up at new heights. This development poses serious questions with respect to the sustainability of public debt given the additional burden from population ageing and shrinking on social expenditures and tax power. Single EU countries have even been pushed towards the risk of defaults. Large budget deficits provoke scientific discussion of intergenerational (in)justice and intragenerational justice between countries. The usage of debt limits and debt brakes enters newly the political arena.This conference will be devoted to the analysis of this fiscal development, its consequences and possible fiscal strategies. More specifically our event plans to deal with questions of the following type:

  • How did the financial and economic crisis hit public finances in EU countries? Why did some countries prove to be more resilient than others?
  • Which were the key factors behind the particularly dramatic deficit increases? Have these increases only been driven by the recession and the rescue packages or are there structural sources?
  • What are the specific burdens and the incidence of different fiscal consolidation plans? How should principles of justice be applied to consolidation strategies?
  • How should the rules of the European Stability and Growth Pact be applied or adjusted to cope with this development? How should national fiscal rules evolve?
  • What politico-economic role do national debt limits play? What are the main forces in the game of debt limitation reform? Which interest groups may stay in a consolidation conflict, and what will be the outcome of such a conflict game?
  • Is there a role for fiscal discipline from the market pressure and rating agencies?
  • How imminent is the risk of a sovereign default?
  • How could the EU react – both in a preventive and reactive way – to sovereign defaults? Should the “No-bailout-clause” be reinterpreted?

We welcome contributions both from theoretical and empirical economics and from other disciplines such as law or political sciences.

Keynote Speakers

  • Jakob de Haan, University of Groningen
  • Bernd Raffelhüschen, University of Freiburg

Call for Papers, (PDF file, 76,1 KB)




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