We show that the desirability of fiscal constraints in monetary unions depends critically on the extent of commitment of the monetary authority. If the monetary authority can commit to its policies, fiscal constraints can only impose costs. If the monetary authority cannot commit, there is a free-rider problem in fiscal policy, and fiscal constraints may be desirable.
Published in: _Journal of Monetary Economics_ (Vol. 54, No. 8, November 2007, pp. 2399-2408), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmoneco.2007.06.032.