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Statistical Agencies and Responses to Financial Crises: Eurostat, Bad Banks, and the ESM

Gandrud, C. & Hallerberg, M. (2016). Statistical Agencies and Responses to Financial Crises: Eurostat, Bad Banks, and the ESM. West European Politics, 39(3), pp. 545-564. doi: 10.1080/01402382.2016.1143239


We demonstrate the important role that the European Statistical Agency - Eurostat - plays in shaping tools for responding to banking crises. From 2009, Eurostat used its position as the interpreter of member state budget statistical rules to implement increasingly stringent rules for how financial crisis responses would affect public budgets. Rather than mere technical details, these rules affected crisis responses. Elected politicians, and especially those under bailout programs, have strong incentives to minimise the direct budgetary effects of aiding failing financial institutions. By establishing and enforcing new rules about which crisis reponses directly hit member state budgets and which did not, Eurostat created incentives to choose certain policies. We explore this process by examining the creation of bad banks and the European Stability Mechanism. Our paper makes an original contribution to both the study of the European banking union and the general role that statistical agencies can play in shaping crisis responses.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article to be published by Taylor & Francis in West European Politics and available online at
Publisher Keywords: financial crises, bad banks, European stability mechanism, Eurostat, statistical agencies, fiscal policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
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