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Staatsverschuldung in Deutschland

Ökonomische und verfassungsrechtliche Problematik
Nomos,  2007, 237 Pages

ISBN 978-3-8329-2882-7

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The work is part of the series Fundamenta Juridica (Volume 55)
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englischThe thesis at hand deals with the subject of national debt both from an economic point of view and from the perspective of constitutional law. It differs from other literature to date on the topic of national debt due to this interdisciplinary orientation. In light of the scale of public national debt in Germany and the cyclical development since 2001 the problem, which has been discussed controversially since the early 19th century, is more topical than ever.

Following an introductory chapter to this matter the development of national debt in Germany from 1950 onwards is portrayed. The third chapter outlines in an inevitably succinct form the respective pros and cons regarding national debt in the more prominent economic doctrines. The main focus is on the legal interpretation and construction of Article 109 section 2 of the German Constitutional Law. This leads to the conclusion that only counter-cyclical economic and financial policy are in compliance with the Constitution. The federal German policy however did not comply with these specifications for most of the years between 1995 and 2004, because it was either too pro-cyclical or not counter-cyclical enough. The consolidation strategy to date can thus be considered as a failure.

The concluding outlook illustrates that public finances can in future only be stabilised if the policy is not to economise after the crisis event, but to determinedly promote growth. This requires a coordinated macro policy comprising a reflationary, medium term financial policy, an accommodating monetary policy and a wage policy which is stability compatible as well as distribution neutral.