Europe’s embrace of austerity has sparked a debate among economists. This column argues that the debate has gone astray. Until the critical principle – ‘how’ is as important as ‘how much’ – is embraced, the austerity debate in Europe will continue to be completely out of line with the real economic trade-offs.
Alberto Alesina, Francesco Giavazzi, Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Roberto Perotti, Monday, November 14, 2011
With crisis plaguing the Eurozone and austerity the favoured prescription for diseased EZ economies, some are asking: Can big fiscal consolidations, especially those based on cuts, actually restart growth? CEPR DP8658 examines four episodes of past fiscal consolidations in European countries and evaluates the evidence.
Alberto Alesina, Roberto Perotti, Thursday, June 17, 2010
Many analysts blame Germany’s fiscal prudence for worsening the crisis. This essay argues that the monomaniacal focus on aggregate demand is based on slightly outdated and oversimplified Keynesianism. The real constraint on European growth is not Germany’s fiscal policy. It is the supply side rigidities that plague all European nations – especially those at the heart of this crisis. The demand side matters, but is it foolish to think that German budget deficit of 5% instead of 3% of GDP would solve Europe’s problems.