Call for Papers - Special Section on Public Debt in the New Normal

Guest Editors: 

Barry Eichengreen, University of Berkeley, USA

Francesco Saraceno, Sciences Po, Paris, France and Luiss, Rome, Italy

Floriana Cerniglia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy


The Global Financial Crisis, the Covid pandemics and now the war in Ukraine have occasioned very extensive public support to prevent economic collapse, support households and revive ageing infrastructures. Looking forward, it is hard to imagine, as our countries go back to a more normal state of affairs, that monetary and fiscal policy will be removed from the policy maker’s toolbox. Fiscal policy in particular, will be central in managing a volatile economy and fostering the environmental and digital transition through public investment and industrial policies.

The return of fiscal policy will inevitably raise the twin issues of financing public expenditure and managing the inherited stock of debt.  These issues in turn point to a series of key questions.  Will interest rates remain below economic growth rates? Will inflation persist beyond the current disruptions brought about by the post pandemic recovery and the Ukraine war? Will the private and public investment needs related to the environmental and digital transition pull the economy out of secular stagnation? In Europe, will institutional developments such as the creation of a central fiscal capacity emerge, thus softening the constraints on Member States’ public finances and their need to rely on public debt?  Will the coexistence in the Eurozone of nineteen fiscal policies with a unique monetary policy pose specific problems requiring specific solutions? Managing the current stock of debt (with different degrees of central banks’ involvement) will become pivotal in guaranteeing the fiscal space countries will need in order to address the epochal challenges of the decades to come.

This special section is intended to shed light on some of the issues highlighted above. Thus, theoretical insights will need to be complemented by historical and empirical analyses. We encourage the submission of articles mobilising different tools and perspectives.

The Special Section will be made up of 9-10 original papers. All articles  will undergo the standard peer-review process. Submissions should be sent through the online system at the link, selecting “S.I.: Public Debt in the New Normal” from the Menu.

The deadline for submissions is October 31st, 2022

Finalization of the Special Section: July, 2023