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Public Opinion and the Balanced Budget

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  • Alan S. Blinder
  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Abstract

While most Americans have long favored a balanced federal budget , not all do. This paper uses cross-sectional differences among respondents to two public opinion polls to try to discriminate among competing hypotheses about why Americans want the budget balanced. Logit models are fit to data from two different public opinion polls : a Gallup poll and a CBS/New York Times poll conducted , respectively, in March and April of 1980, a time when the proposed balanced budget amendment to the Constitution was very much in the news. In each case , a large majority favored a balanced budget requirement. However, they favor it for a smorgasbord of reasons and at unclear price. It appears that political affiliation, ideology and personal circumstances are far less important determinants of the choice than economic rationales.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1234.

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Date of creation: Nov 1983
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Publication status: published as Blinder, Alan S. and Douglas Holtz-Eakin. "Public Opinion and the Balanced Budget." American Economic Review, Vol. 74, No. 2, (May 1984), pp. 144-14 9.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1234

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  1. Douglas A. Hibbs, Jr., 1982. "Public Concern about Inflation and Unemployment in the United States: Trends, Correlates, and Political Implications," NBER Chapters, in: Inflation: Causes and Effects, pages 211-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Niepelt, Dirk, 2007. "Starving the beast? Intra-generational conflict and balanced budget rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 145-159, January.
  2. Walstad, William B. & Rebeck, Ken, 2002. "Assessing the economic knowledge and economic opinions of adults," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 921-935.
  3. Tavares, Jose, 2004. "Does right or left matter? Cabinets, credibility and fiscal adjustments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2447-2468, December.
  4. Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Tax Smoothing versus Tax Shifting," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 27-51, January.
  5. repec:onb:oenbwp:y::i:167:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Bernd Hayo & Florian Neumeier, 2014. "Public Attitudes Toward Fiscal Consolidation: Evidence from a Representative German Population Survey," Working Papers CEB 14-006, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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