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Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance

The unprecedented rise and persistence of large-scale budget deficits in many developed and developing nations during the past three decades has caused great concern. The widespread presence of such deficits has proved difficult to explain. Their emergence in otherwise diverse nations defies particularistic explanations aimed at internal economic developments within a specific country.

Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance shifts emphasis away from narrow economic factors to more broadly defined political and institutional factors that affect government policy and national debt. This collection brings together new theoretical models, empirical evidence, and a series of in-depth case studies to analyze the effect of political institutions, fiscal regulations, and policy decisions on accumulating deficits. It provides a fascinating overview of the political and economic issues involved and highlights the role of budgetary institutions in the formation of budget deficits.

398 pages | 58 line drawings, 71 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1999

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report

Economics and Business: Economics--Government Finance, Economics--International and Comparative

Table of Contents

Introduction by James M. Poterba and Jürgen von Hagen
1. Budget Deficits and Budget Institutions
Alberto Alesina and Roberto Perotti
2. A Model of Endogenous Fiscal Deficits and Delayed Fiscal Reforms
Andrés Velasco
3. Consumption Smoothing through Fiscal Policy in OECD and EU Countries
Adriana Arreaza, Bent E. Sørensen, and Oved Yosha
4. Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries
Yianos Kontopoulos and Roberto Perotti
5. Institutional Arrangements and Fiscal Performance: The Latin American Experience
Ernesto Stein, Ernesto Talvi, and Alejandro Grisanti
6. Politics, Institutions, and Public-Sector Spending in the Argentine Provinces
Mark P. Jones, Pablo Sanguinetti, and Mariano Tommasi
7. Public Debt and Budgetary Procedures: Top Down or Bottom Up? Some Evidence from Swiss Municipalities
Lars P. Feld and Gebhard Kirschgässner
8. State Fiscal Institutions and the U.S. Municipal Bond Market
James M. Poterba and Kim Rueben
9. Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union
Mark Hallerberg and Jürgen von Hagen
10. Budgetary Institutions and the Levels of Expenditure Outcomes in Australia and New Zealand
J. Edgardo Campos and Sanjay Pradham
11. Budgetary Procedures—Aspects and Changes: New Evidence for Some European Countries
Jakob de Haan, Wim Moessen, and Bjørn Volkerink
12. Subnational Budgetary and Stabilization Policies in Canada and Australia
Thomas J. Courchene
13. Coping with Fiscal Stress: Illusion and Reality in Central Government Budgeting in Japan, 1975-1997
Maurice Wright
Author Index
Subject Index

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