Public Choice

, Volume 136, Issue 3, pp 379–396

Fiscal institutions, fiscal policy and sovereign risk premia in EMU


DOI: 10.1007/s11127-008-9301-2

Cite this article as:
Hallerberg, M. & Wolff, G.B. Public Choice (2008) 136: 379. doi:10.1007/s11127-008-9301-2


We investigate the effect of fiscal institutions such as the strength of the finance minister in the budget process and deficits on interest rate spreads of Eurozone countries. Deficits significantly increase risk premia measured by relative swap spreads. The effect of deficits is significantly lower under EMU. This effect partly results from neglecting the role of fiscal institutions. After controlling for institutional changes, fiscal policy remains a significant determinant of risk premia in EMU. Better institutions are connected with lower risk premia. Furthermore deficits matter less for risk premia in countries with better institutions. Markets acknowledge that better institutions reduce fiscal difficulties rendering the monitoring of annual developments less important.


Budget institutions Fiscal rules Sovereign risk premia EMU Fiscal policy 

JEL Classification

E43 E62 H61 H62 G12 G15 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hertie School of GovernanceBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Deutsche Bundesbank and University of PittsburghFrankfurtGermany

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