Sustainability of Public Finances

A central tenet of the Maastricht Treaty is that a successful European Monetary Union requires sustainable public finances of its member states: yet there is no clear definition of sustainability. In this Report, the authors develop a concept of sustainability focusing on the controllability of public finances. After reviewing the theoretical and empirical arguments for a disaggregate and institutions-oriented approach to correcting non-sustainable deficits, the authors propose a practical procedure to assess the sustainability of a country's public finances.