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Sustainability of Public Finances

By Jürgen von Hagen, Roberto Perotti, and Rolf Strauch

A central tenet of the Maastricht Treaty is that a successful European Monetary Union requires sustainable public finances of its member states, yet there is no clear definition of sustainability. This book develops a concept of sustainability focusing on the controllability of public finances. After reviewing the theoretical and empirical arguments for a disaggregate and institutions-oriented approach to correcting non-sustainable deficits, the authors propose a practical procedure to assess the sustainability of a country’s public finances.

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