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  • CREEL Jérôme (21)
  • GAFFARD Jean-Luc (18)
  • FITOUSSI Jean-Paul (15)
  • HUBERT Paul (8)
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  • Article (42)
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The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) institutions are consistent with a New Consensus that emerged in the 1980s, limiting the role for macroeconomic (particularly fiscal) policy to short term stabilizations by means of rules. I will argue that the policy inertia induced by the Consensus may have played a role in the disappointing performance of EMU economies even before the crisis. The crisis of the Consensus, and the debate on secular stagnation, proved that Keynesian (and possibly) persistent excesses of savings over investment may hamper growth. This has put fiscal policy back to the center of the scene, and given the General Theory, at eighty, a second youth. I will argue therefore that the EMU fiscal rule should be amended to allow semi-permanent negative government savings. I will finally argue that a modified Golden Rule may serve this objective, and allow EU-wide policy coordination. This seems the only reasonable reform with some chances of being adopted by the EU divided policy makers.

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Il en est du commerce international comme du progrès technique : de faibles performances en matière de croissance et d’emploi, quand elles surviennent, lui sont facilement attribuées. Cet article rappelle que l’ouverture au commerce international, comme le progrès technique, crée l’opportunité de mieux allouer les ressources et de créer des richesses supplémentaires. La réalisation de cette opportunité dépend néanmoins largement des conditions qui président à la transition ainsi engagée. Ce serait une erreur de considérer que les avantages de l’ouverture au commerce international peuvent automatiquement être obtenus sans heurts ni conflits. La théorie du commerce international enseigne qu’il peut exister un conflit de répartition qui fait que les gains à l’échange ne profitent pas à tous dans un même pays. Des inégalités se forment et des catégories sociales entières enregistrent des pertes qu’il est difficile de compenser. Par ailleurs, des conflits peuvent aussi se produire entre nations. Si un progrès technique différencié met en cause l’avantage comparatif précédemment détenu par l’un des partenaires, ce que gagne l’un, l’autre le perd, alors même que le revenu mondial augmente. Toutefois, les écarts de performance évoluent sans cesse. Les spécialisations induites par des hétérogénéités en termes de coût de production ou de transport et d’externalités créent inévitablement des différentiels de croissance qui font que certains pays progressent plus vite que d’autres. Ces différentiels entretiennent un rapport ambigu avec le degré d’ouverture à l’échange international. La raison en est claire. Les conditions de l’ouverture comptent davantage que l’ouverture elle-même. Aussi est-il essentiel de connaître les conditions dans lesquelles nations et firmes s’adaptent à un changement intervenu dans le degré d’ouverture au commerce international.

in Journal of Evolutionary Economics Publié en 2008-10
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The paper studies the dynamics of firm size in a repeated Cournot game with unknown demand function. We model the firm as a type of artificial neural network. Each period it must learn to map environmental signals to both a demand parameter and its rival’s output choice. However, this learning game is in the background, as we focus on the endogenous adjustment of network size. We investigate the long-run evolution of firm/network size as a function of profits, rival’s size, and the type of adjustment rules used.

in ICFAI Journal of Monetary Economics Publié en 2005
SARACENO Francesco
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The effect of demand shocks is studied within an economy characterized by a temporally articulated production structure and bound by rational agents. Hicks' (1973) model is extended in order to include trade between two economies with demand links. This allows to tackle issues as the transmission of shocks and the coordination of monetary policies. By means of numerical simulations the author shows that because of irreversibilities, temporary demand shocks trigger disequilibrium dynamics with permanent effect on the economy. Market imperfections, namely a certain degree of wage and price stickiness, prove necessary to avoid the implosion of the system. An accommodating monetary policy, by softening financial constraints, is effective in stabilizing the economy. When considering trading economies, a certain degree of openness has positive effects, and independent monetary policies may in some occasions be desirable.

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This article traces the complex intellectual path of Olivier Blanchard, a personification of the controversial evolution of macroeconomic research over the last three decades. After contributing to consolidation of the core of mainstream macroeconomics, Blanchard recently suggested ‘rethinking’ some of its key aspects to take stock of the lessons of the 2008 Great Recession, which he witnessed as the International Monetary Fund’s Chief Economist. This welcome discussion, which according to Blanchard should open mainstream macroeconomics to heterodox thinking, has so far produced a certainly interesting albeit theoretically contradictory synthesis and limited policy consequences. The most paradigmatic aspect of this rethinking of macroeconomics is represented by the abandonment in teaching of aggregate supply and demand in favor of a revival of the IS–LM model complemented by the Phillips curve. While this change of perspective does allow for the instability of ‘natural’ equilibrium to be emphasized, a deeper reading may prove incompatible with the neoclassical foundations of the mainstream approach.

in Journal of Innovation Economics Publié en 2010
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The Greek public finance crisis of the first semester 2010 has triggered discussion about the perils of fiscal unsustainability in a currency area, either through default contagion or moral hazard contagion, and it has questioned the reliance of the European Union (EU) on fiscal rules like the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). In this contribution, we wish to shed light on the golden rule of public finance which, we argue, may generate fiscal sustainability without hindering economic growth (...).

This paper describes recent trends on the efficiency of stabilisers in the European Union. Using both macro evidence on the cyclical sensitivity of budget deficit to economic activity, and micro evidence on the tax and expenditure profiles, we conclude, in agreement with the recent literature, that the importance of automatic stabilisation has decreased. After remarking that this trend is contradictory with the current economic institutions of Europe relying exclusively on automatic stabilisation for the conduct of fiscal policy, we argue that increasing flexibility, one alternative way to reduce cyclical fluctuations, does not seem a viable path. The paper concludes defending the appropriateness of discretionary fiscal policy. We argue by means of a simple model that the theoretical arguments against its use are not conclusive, and we describe a recent stream of literature, based on structural VAR models, that concludes rather robustly for the effectiveness of discretionary fiscal policy in the short and long run.

We estimate a structural vector autoregressive (SVAR) model of the French economy. The econometric method originates in Blanchard and Perotti [Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2002] but owes also extensively to the fiscal theory of the price level (FTPL) that investigates the interactions between government surplus, debt accumulation and price dynamics. We have the objective, on the one hand, of assessing the effects of fiscal and monetary policy shocks on the economy; and, on the other, of studying the strategic interactions between fiscal and monetary authorities. As a consequence, the theoretical restrictions to identify our model are derived from a FTPL framework. Our estimations reveal so-called Keynesian features of fiscal and monetary shocks; meanwhile, they are consistent with the prediction of the FTPL as regards price dynamics. Although the first part of our findings agree with most of the recent literature on the subject, the non-rejection of the FTPL is an originality.

in Public expenditure : papers presented at the Banca d'Italia workshop held in Perugia Publié en 2005
SARACENO Francesco
VERONI Paola
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The “fiscal theory of the price level” (FTPL; Woodford, 1995 and 2001) marks the revival of interest for fiscal policy, after the long blackout that followed the crisis of Keynesian economics. Among the causes of this revival, an important role was played by the dramatic drop in US public debt during the Clinton presidency. The reduced stock of bonds in the hands of households led researchers to re-investigate the relationship between consumption, the government intertemporal budget constraint, wealth effects and monetary policy. As we will argue below, the attempts to give empirical support to the FTPL – that had its theoretical precursors in the work of Leeper (1991) and Sims (1994) among others –, have been rather unsuccessful so far, so that its main merit lies in the fact that it brought back into the debate the interaction between fiscal and monetary policy and its effects on the level of activity and on prices (...).

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