The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The paper argues that international differences in fiscal conditions influence the relative attractiveness of locating production facilities in different countries and could prove to be a troublesome source of instability for the European economies. Even though physical capital movements tend to occur slowly, divergent fiscal conditions can exert pressures on exchange rates in the short run, and the monetary policy reactions induced in a fixed exchange rate regime may affect real wage rates and/or employment levels. The implications for tax harmonization and budget discipline are discussed. It is argued that monetary integration itself will not induce fiscal discipline.