Institutionelle Möglichkeiten zur Begrenzung der Staatsverschuldung in föderalen Staaten (2010)

After some theoretical considerations, fiscal institutions called ?debt brakes? designed to preventpublic deficit and debt from going off course, are discussed. We first present some models applied in some Swiss cantons, especially in the canton of St. Gallen, then the respective institution introduced in 2001 at the Swiss federal level, and finally the recently introduced German solution. While the models in the different cantons are quite successful, we still have to wait for the proof that the German model in particular is viable. We also discuss how the problem of a possible bail-out of states and local communities could be handled. We conclude that by choosing appropriate institutions federal countries are at least as able to perform a sustainable fiscal policy as unitary states.

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Kirchgässner Gebhard