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Can Expenditure Cuts Eliminate a Budget Deficit? The Australian Experience

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  • George Argyrous

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)

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    Abstract

    Australia Governments since the late 1970's have attempted to eliminate the fiscal deficit through reductions in expenditure. These efforts have failed. With each successive business cycle the Federal Government's budget outcome has been an ever growing deficit. This paper explains the failure of the government to achieve its balanced budget objective through expenditure reductions. It argues that the impact of these expenditure reductions on the course of the business cycle and the long term development of the economy has actually fed back onto the budget outcome in a negative way. These feedbacks have rendered the instruments for achieving its policy objective self-defeating. The paper explores the compositional changes in government outlays, away from capital to current outlays, that have resulted from this policy objective and which may have a detrimental effect on long run growth.

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    File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/mac/papers/9809/9809003.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 9809003.

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    Length: 21 pages
    Date of creation: 08 Sep 1998
    Date of revision: 24 Feb 1999
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9809003

    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 21; figures: included
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    Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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    1. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    2. Seccareccia, M. & Sharpe, A., 1991. "Canada's Competitiveness: Beyond the Budget Deficit," Working Papers 9111e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    3. Harvie, C. & Kearney, C., 1996. "Public Infrastructure Canpital and Private Investment," Economics Working Papers wp96-2, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    4. Alicia H. Munnell, 1990. "Why has productivity growth declined? Productivity and public investment," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 3-22.
    5. Sharon J. Erenburg, 1993. "The Relationship Between Public and Private Investment," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_85, Levy Economics Institute.
    6. John F. Henry & L. Randall Wray, 1998. "Economic Time," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_255, Levy Economics Institute.
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