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Prudence or Profligacy: Deficits, Debt, and Fiscal Consolidation

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  • Andrea Boltho
  • Andrew Glyn

Abstract

Over the last quarter century, public finances have been under pressure in most OECD countries as deficits and debts rose under the pressure of relatively slow growth and high interest rates. This, in turn, has affected the welfare state, since efforts at containing deficits have often been concentrated on public expenditure. Much of the literature argues that this is desirable, since curbing deficits via tax increases seldom succeeds. A medium-term survey of OECD country experience suggests a less clear-cut conclusion. In a number of countries which were able to curb debt/GDP ratios, the bulk of the adjustment did, indeed, come from spending cuts (but was, also, in some cases helped by rapid growth and/or currency depreciation). In several, however, tax increases also appear to have succeeded in reducing deficits and debt. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 22 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (Autumn)
Pages: 411-425

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:22:y:2006:i:3:p:411-425

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Web page: http://oxrep.oupjournals.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Fernandez, Juan J., 2010. "Economic crises, high public pension spending and blame-avoidance strategies: Pension policy retrenchments in 14 social-insurance countries, 1981 - 2005," MPIfG Discussion Paper 10/9, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  2. Margit Molnár, 2012. "Fiscal consolidation: What factors determine the success of consolidation efforts?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2012(1), pages 123-149.
  3. Salvador Barrios & Sven Langedijk & Lucio Pench, 2010. "EU fiscal consolidation after the financial crisis. Lessons from past experiences," European Economy - Economic Papers 418, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  4. Margit Molnar, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 5. What Factors Determine the Success of Consolidation Efforts?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 936, OECD Publishing.

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