The European debate on fiscal austerity has gone astray – focusing exclusively on the size of deficit reductions. What policy makers should really be focusing on is the budget tightening’s composition (tax versus spending) and on the accompanying policies.
The austerity question: ‘How’ is as important as ‘how much’
Alberto Alesina, Francesco Giavazzi, 3 April 2012
The "Austerity Myth": Gain without pain?
Roberto Perotti, 14 November 2011
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Germany spending is not the cure
Alberto Alesina, Roberto Perotti, 17 June 2010
A widely held view in Europe goes more or less as follows. After the shock of reunification, Germany has sought to enhance competitiveness through a variety of means. The policy was remarkably successful, turning the “sick man of Europe” into a highly competitive economy. One implication, however, was an imbalance with the rest of Europe.
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