Donnerstag, 20. März 2014

Fiskaltransfers im Euroraum

Ein interessanter Gedanke von Daniel Gros.

Er argumentiert, dass die Länder des Euroraums kein System des fiskalischen Ausgleichs brauchen, in dem alle asymmetrischen Schocks teilweise versichert werden, sondern ein System, in dem große Schocks hoch versichert werden.

"Many observers and policymakers now argue that the Eurozone needs a system of fiscal shock absorbers like that of the US.

A recent study by the IMF (2013a and 2013b) finds that about 20% of shocks to state income are offset by the US federal fiscal system. But such a system would have been of limited value in the euro crisis. Offering a country whose output falls by 1% (relative to the Eurozone average) a transfer of 0.2% of GDP would be of very limited usefulness. A country hit by a very large shock, say 5% of GDP (like Portugal or Ireland) would of course receive a larger transfer, but the problems would not be substantially different (a fall of income by 4% instead of 5%). By contrast, in a system of insurance with a deductible, of say 1% of GDP, the country hit by a small shock would receive nothing. But most of the large shock – everything above the 1% deductible – could then be offset.
What the Eurozone really needs is not a system which offsets all shocks by some small fraction, but a system which protects against shocks which are rare, but potentially catastrophic. The many minor cyclical shocks which do not impair the functioning of financial markets can then be dealt with via borrowing at the national level.

The European Stability Mechanism – the Eurozone’s rescue mechanism – does not provide the needed insurance function because it only provides loans, which have to be repaid with interest, rather than a transfer when a shock materialises. One way to create an insurance mechanism with a deductible would be to create a system of reinsurance for national unemployment insurance systems, under which the national systems would pay regular premiums to a central Eurozone fund. This fund would then support the national system in countries where the unemployment rate has increased suddenly above a certain threshold. This is the type of absorption capacity that the Presidents of the EU should be considering – not merely copies of the way the US federal fiscal system appears to offset a small proportion of all shocks."

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