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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

The Politics of Budgetary Constraints: Understanding the Variation of National Fiscal Frameworks between Eurozone Member States

Andreas Eisl (doctoral project)

During the recent European debt crisis, eurozone countries substantially curtailed their fiscal policy discretion by implementing national fiscal frameworks, in some case going far beyond the common requirements on the European level. These frameworks are made up of country-specific configurations of numerical fiscal rules, independent fiscal councils, and correction mechanisms. The smaller the budgetary leeway for deficits allowed by fiscal rules, the greater the fiscal councils’ powers and political voice; and the more automatic the correction mechanisms, the more stringent a national fiscal framework is typically considered to be. Situated in the field of comparative political economy, this doctoral research project aims to explain the variation in the stringency of national fiscal frameworks in eurozone countries. Starting from an evaluation of the existing quantitative research on this issue, it examines several qualitative country case studies that draw on interviews with political decision makers, public officials, and experts, and it also focuses on qualitative country reports, parliamentary debates, and newspaper articles. The project is part of the cotutelle program between Sciences Po, Paris, and the IMPRS-SPCE, Cologne. Project duration: October 2015 to March 2019.
Explaining Variation in Public Debt: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effects of Governance. MaxPo Discussion Paper 17/1. Paris: MaxPo, 2017
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