Do Sound Public Finances Require Fiscal Rules or Is Market Pressure Enough?

Michael Bergman, Michael M. Hutchison, Svend E. Hougaard Jensen

Research output: Working paperResearch


This paper discusses the balance between market pressure and fiscal rules in order to keep public finances on a sustainable path. We provide empirical evidence on market assessments of sovereign default risk to economic news, announcements of national austerity programs, EU programs designed to support government finances, and banking fragility emanating from several countries in the euro area affected by the European sovereign debt crisis. We find that, in general, the quality of market signals is an insufficient indicator alone to accurately guide the conduct of fiscal policy, particularly during the crisis period. Therefore, market signals should be used to complement fiscal rules rather than serving as a substitute.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBruxelles
PublisherEuropean Commission
ISBN (Print)9789279285714
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
SeriesEconomic Papers / European Economy


  • Euro Area
  • Sovereign Debt
  • Fiscal Rules
  • Financial Markets
  • Transmission of News

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