Authors: Yiannis Kitromilides
Addresses: Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW, UK
Abstract: The UK coalition government claims that the establishment of market |credibility| can only be achieved through the implementation of immediate and unpalatable fiscal austerity measures. The paper examines this claim and considers some additional questions. First, is there is any justification for subordinating public policy-making to market sentiment? Do financial markets strengthen or subvert democracies? Are markets |rational| in the way they define policy |credibility|, or is there a |market failure|? An example of market failure is the so called |fallacy of composition| case: if an indebted individual wants to avoid insolvency, adopting personal austerity measures constitutes a |credible| policy of deficit reduction; the same may not be true for the whole economy. The recent experience with fiscal austerity in Europe suggests that the adoption of rapid fiscal consolidation policies in order to |appease| the financial markets may in fact be counterproductive.
Keywords: public debt; deficit reduction; fiscal consolidation; market failure; market credibility; UK; United Kingdom; coalition governments; austerity measures; market sentiment; financial markets; democracies; democracy; democratic government; rational markets; fallacy of composition; indebted individuals; insolvency; Europe; rapid consolidation; public policy; economic policies; alternative paradigms.
International Journal of Public Policy, 2011 Vol.7 No.1/2/3, pp.40 - 50
Published online: 14 Jan 2015 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article