Politique Internationale - La Revue n°93 - AUTOMNE - 2001

sommaire du n° 93
EUROPE-ETATS-UNIS : DU BON USAGE DE LA RECESSION
Article de David Spector
Chargé de recherches au CNRS
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After a year of economic slowdown, the attacks of September 11 appear to have plunged the United States into recession by undermining American consumer confidence. Yet this recession raises a number of questions - not least because it bears no resemblance to any that the world has experienced in the past half-century. Far from being the outgrowth of budgetary or monetary policy, the current crisis stems from an endogenous cause : businesses, overly optimistic about corporate profits, have in fact over-invested. What will it take to overcome this atypical recession ? What is clear is that Americans and Europeans are not equally equipped to pull through the crisis. Following the long period of prosperity under Clinton, the U.S., with its budget surplus and unemployment down to five percent, has a certain room for maneuver that is not available to Europeans. Doubly constrained by the ECB's goal of 2-percent maximum inflation and the requirements of the stability pact for public sector deficits, the E.U. will struggle to pursue the recovery policy that President Bush is preparing to launch.

Notes :

(1) Voir A. Alesina, G. Cohen, et N. Roubini, Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy, Cambridge, MIT Press, 1997.
(2) Voir C. Romer, « Changes in Business Cycles : Evidence and Explanations », Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 13, no 2, printemps 1999, pp. 23-44.
(3) Bons publics destinés à financer le libre choix, par les parents, d'une école publique ou privée.
(4) Introduit par le président républicain Gerald Ford, en 1975, ce mécanisme n'est devenu quantitativement important qu'avec la réforme de 1993.
(5) Ces chiffres sont issus des Perspectives de l'emploi publiées chaque année par l'OCDE.
(6) Voir l'étude de Hans-Werner Sinn et Michael Reutter, intitulée « The Minimum Inflation Rate for Euroland », National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, no 8085.