Only half a plan

In a recent column at VoxEU, Francesco Giavazzi and Guido Tabellini argue for a concerted European stimulus policy to bring the Eurozone out of recession and low-inflation. Their plan consists of three parts, cutting taxes by about 5 per cent of GDP in each country, financing the resulting budget deficits by new long-term (30 year) bonds that are to be bought by the ECB in a sort of limited Quantitative Easing. while temporarily suspending the deficit criteria of the stability and growth pact. Giavazzi and Tabellini argue that tax-cuts are less likely to cause misallocations and corruption and that the ECB will start a QE programme anyway in roughly half a year’s time, when they see that this is the Eurozone’s last means to overcome the slump. While I in principle agree with their analysis, I consider their advice only half plan because they do not even consider supply side reforms.

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