欧洲的免费搭车者

在美国,每个奉行不完善的财政政策的州都不免领受处罚。相对于那些管理较好的州,这些州的债券须打折出售,而它们要偿付的债务也更多,这在某种程度上对于现在开销、今后还债的行为是一种惩罚。

诚然,市场控制尚不完善:债券市场未“预见”大量的隐性远期负债(如承诺支付退休金)。然而,结合各州自己的内部预算程序,这一强化的财政纪律已防止美国出现大萧条以来大规模的州级财政危机。

我们回头看看欧洲吧。欧元启用前,南部欧洲各国多次发生财政危机,导致高通胀一波接一波。但是,施行单一货币之后,通过通货膨胀解决财政危机的路子被堵死了,因为现在由欧洲中央银行(ECB)统一监督货币政策。

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