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Fiscal Policy, Past and Present

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  • Alan J. Auerbach

Abstract

This paper begins with a review of the current fiscal situation and the causes of its recent deterioration. As a guide to possible policy actions, it provides extensive estimates of past responses of revenues and expenditures at the federal and state and local level. Estimates at the federal level suggest that policy is responsive to both economic and fiscal conditions, and that this responsiveness may have grown over time. For states, economic conditions are less important, but responses to budget gaps are swifter. Equations for federal revenues and expenditures predict tax cuts and expenditure increases given current conditions, but of a considerably smaller magnitude than those initially proposed by President Bush. However, current circumstances are difficult to evaluate because of the enormous implicit entitlement liabilities that were much less significant in the past. This difficulty is but one of the problems facing policy prediction and evaluation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10023.

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Date of creation: Oct 2003
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Publication status: published as Auerbach, Alan J. "Fiscal Policy, Past And Present," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2003, v2003(1), 75-138.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10023

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  1. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
  2. Auerbach, Alan J, 1989. "Tax Reform and Adjustment Costs: The Impact on Investment and Market Value," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(4), pages 939-62, November.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Roberto Perotti & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2002. "Fiscal Policy, Profits, and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 571-589, June.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach, 1983. "Corporate Taxation in the United States," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(2), pages 451-514.
  5. Alan J. Auerbach, 1982. "Taxation, Corporate Financial Policy and the Cost of Capital," NBER Working Papers 1026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Auerbach, Alan J & Hines, James R, Jr, 1988. "Investment Tax Incentives and Frequent Tax Reforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 211-16, May.
  7. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1994. "What Ends Recessions?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 13-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2002. "Should the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve be concerned about fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 333-389.
  10. Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2002. "Fiscal Policy, Profits, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 3353756, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hassett, Kevin, 1992. "Tax policy and business fixed investment in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 141-170, March.
  12. Martin Feldstein, 2002. "Commentary : Is there a role for discretionary fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 151-162.
  13. Alan J. Auerbach, 2001. "Taxation and Corporate Financial Policy," NBER Working Papers 8203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Alan Auerbach, 2002. "Is There a Role for Discretionary Fiscal Policy?," NBER Working Papers 9306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Alan J. Auerbach, 1996. "Dynamic Revenue Estimation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 141-157, Winter.
  16. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  17. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Kent Smetters, 2003. "Fiscal and generational imbalances: new budget measures for new budget priorities," Policy Discussion Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Dec.
  18. Nigel Pain, 2002. "Fiscal Incentives, European Integration and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment," NIESR Discussion Papers 147, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  19. Fumio Hayashi, 2002. "Commentary : Is there a role for discretionary fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 163-172.
  20. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy In Good Times And Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436, November.
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