Monetary and Economic Studies Vol.20, No. S-1 / December 2002

Monetary and Fiscal Policy in the European Monetary Union

Juergen von Hagen, Matthias Brueckner

The introductory phase of the European Monetary Union (EMU) ended with the introduction of the euro currency in 2002. We present a review of the experiences with the new monetary union. Using a Taylor rule, we analyze the conduct of monetary policy by the European Central Bank (ECB). The empirical results suggest that the ECB applies similar weights to inflation and the output gap as the Bundesbank in the past, but more than proportionate weight to economic developments in Germany and France. Next, we show that the link between monetary developments and inflation in the euro area is empirically very stable. ECB monetary policy was too loose in the first four years to keep inflation below the ECB's upper limit of 2 percent defining price stability. In the last section, we analyze the fiscal framework of EMU and show that it has not succeeded in safeguarding fiscal discipline, especially in the large member states.

Keywords: European Monetary Union; Monetary policy; Fiscal policy; Stability Pact

Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.

Copyright © 2002 Bank of Japan All Rights Reserved.

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