Fallimenti di mercato a prezzi di mercato, il paradosso della spesa sanitaria e del debito pubblico in Europa

The public debt of some Eurozone countries is today an emergency that risks arriving immediately after the health emergency we are going through. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy has the double effect of cutting the Gross Domestic Product (the tax base from which most of the tax revenue is generated) and increasing public spending due to the increase in demand of health services and the increase in demand for social safety nets. The combined effect of the reduction in revenue and the increase in public spending inevitably generates a greater deficit which adds up to public debt that was already seen as a problem before the pandemic. At present, and unless the European Central Bank intervenes, the interest rates on the debt of some European countries can only grow further. In this way there is the risk of generating a vicious circle that leads to unsustainable paths. But is it acceptable that the state – for the financing of public expenditure – depends on the market?

La misura corretta del debito pubblico

The solvency of the public debt should be considered taking into account the net assets of the economy but they are not officially available in many European countries. We therefore present a first balance sheet prototype obtained by combining Eurostat statistics on non-financial assets and financial accounts.

Debito pubblico, una questione di interessi

Italy has a ratio of public debt to GDP close to 132% despite 26 consecutive years of primary surpluses in public accounts. The data shows that interest expense led to the majority of the growth in this ratio, while the most effective factor to contain the increase was the GDP deflator. Trying to reduce the ratio parameter only by increasing primary surpluses seems a road of dubious effectiveness.