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The politics of public debt: Neoliberalism, capitalist development, and the restructuring of the state

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  • Streeck, Wolfgang
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    Abstract

    Rising public debt has been widespread in democratic-capitalist political economies since the 1970s, generally accompanied among other things by weak economic growth, rising unemployment, increasing inequality, growing tax resistance, and declining political participation. Following an initial period of fiscal consolidation in the 1990s, public debt took an unprecedented leap in response to the Great Recession. Renewed consolidation efforts, under the pressure of financial markets, point to a general decline in state expenditure, particularly discretionary and investment expenditure, and of extensive retrenchment and privatization of state functions. -- Steigende Staatsverschuldung ist in demokratisch-kapitalistischen Ländern seit den 1970er-Jahren verbreitet. Üblicherweise ist sie verbunden mit niedrigem Wirtschaftswachstum, steigender Arbeitslosigkeit, wachsender Ungleichheit, zunehmender Steuerfeindlichkeit sowie einem Rückgang politischer Beteiligung. Auf eine Phase anfänglicher fiskalischer Konsolidierung in den 1990er-Jahren folgte, in Reaktion auf die Große Rezession, ein sprunghafter Anstieg der öffentlichen Schulden. Die unter dem Druck der Finanzmärkte wieder aufgenommenen Konsolidierungsbemühungen lassen eine generelle Kürzung der Staatsausgaben - vor allem solcher diskretionärer und investiver Art - und darüber hinaus eine weitgehende Beschneidung und Privatisierung von Staatsaufgaben erwarten.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 13/7.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:137

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    1. Thomas I. Palley, 2007. "Financialization: What It Is and Why It Matters," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_525, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2011. "The Liquidation of Government Debt," NBER Working Papers 16893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Thomas Herndon & Michael Ash & Robert Pollin, 2013. "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogo ff," Working Papers wp322, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," NBER Working Papers 15639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Robert Boyer, 2012. "The four fallacies of contemporary austerity policies: the lost Keynesian legacy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 283-312.
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