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Stabilisation et redistribution budgétaires entre régions : État centralisé, État fédéral

Abstract : The fiscal aspects of the future EMU lead to lively debates. The purpose of this work is to consider the stabilizing role of a federal budget in the context of a monetary union, and the appropriateness of creating a specific shock-absorber mechanism in Europe. Its purpose would be to permit the member states to cope with transitory, asymmetric shocks. Is this device essential for the success of EMU ? What should be its desired scale ? In most countries, a region undergoing an adverse shock will receive net transfers from other regions through the central-governement budget. But a country member of the future EMU suffering a similar shock will not receive any corresponding transfers from the European Union through the central-government budget of the Union. In this respect, countries in the EMU will lack a stabilizing mechanism that regions in a national currency union possess. A number of authors have tried to ascertain just how much stabilization the regions get today through the relevant mechanism when a shock hits one of them relative to all the rest without affecting the national aggregates. We examine the available results and conclude that stabilizing and redistributive effects are indeed far from negligible in the US and Canada, the major countries thus far studied. Both of those countries represent federal states. It has been assumed that the stabilizing effects must be still stronger in unitary states, such as the UK and France. But we find the assumption not to be confirmed for either country. A detailed application of econometrics of panel data to the French regional statistics permits estimates of regional stabilization in this particular unitary state. The figures are no higher than those for the US. In the concluding section, we turn to the question how well EMU will be able to function without some degree of fiscal federalism.
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Frédéric Zumer. Stabilisation et redistribution budgétaires entre régions : État centralisé, État fédéral. Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences Po, 1998, 65 (1), pp.243 - 289. ⟨10.3406/ofce.1998.1502⟩. ⟨hal-03458360⟩

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