IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/jecper/v14y2000i3p3-19.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto Alesina

Abstract

Current surpluses in the U.S. have been achieved by a combination of a strong economy, low interest rates, and sharp cuts in defense spending. These surpluses follow a period (the 1980s) of rather exceptional budget deficit. This paper investigates the origin, size, and expected future patterns of the U.S. budget balance. It discusses how different political forces may generate alternative fiscal scenarios for the U.S. in the next decade.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina, 2000. "The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 3-19, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:14:y:2000:i:3:p:3-19 Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.3.3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.14.3.3
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ernesto Talvi & Carlos A. Vegh, 2000. "Tax Base Variability and Procyclical Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    3. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    5. Auerbach, Alan J., 1997. "Quantifying the Current U.S. Fiscal Imbalance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(3), pages 387-398, September.
    6. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 55-93.
    7. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
    8. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1170-1188.
    9. Alan J. Auerbach, 1994. "The U.S. Fiscal Problem: Where We are, How We Got Here, and Where We're Going," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 141-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:04:p:811-828_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
    12. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    13. Mathew D. McCubbins, 1991. "Party Governance and U.S. Budget Deficits: Divided Government and Fiscal Stalemate," NBER Chapters,in: Politics and Economics in the Eighties, pages 83-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1-24.
    15. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
    16. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems and Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657.
    17. Peter A. Diamond (ed.), 1999. "Issues in Privatizing Social Security: Report of an Expert Panel of the National Academy of Social Insurance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262041774, January.
    18. Alberto Alesina & Geoffrey Carliner, 1991. "Politics and Economics in the Eighties," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ales91-1.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Haffert, Lukas, 2016. "Permanent budget surpluses as a fiscal regime," MPIfG Discussion Paper 16/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    2. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2008. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation, and Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 201-236.
    3. repec:esr:chaptr:jacb200113 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Alwasiak, Stanislaw & Lewandowska-Kalina, Monika & Kalina, Lech & Kowalewski, Oskar & Mozdzen, Michal & Rybinski, Krzysztof, 2013. "What Determines State Capture in Poland?," MPRA Paper 47057, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Duffy, David & Hore, Jonathan & MacCoille, Conall & McCoy, Daniel, 2001. "Budget 2002: Macroeconomic Context and Fiscal Stance," Papers BP2002/1, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    6. Andreea STOIAN, 2011. "A Retrospective Approach on Assessing Fiscal Vulnerability: Empirical Evidence for Overindebted European Countries," Timisoara Journal of Economics, West University of Timisoara, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 4(3(15)), pages 183-188.
    7. Drakopoulos, Stavros A., 2010. "Economic Policies, Socieconomic Factors and Overall Health: A Short Review," MPRA Paper 21553, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Corinne Prost & Cédric Audenis, 2003. "Finances publiques et cycle économique : une autre approche," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 157(1), pages 1-12.
    9. Ionuţ-Cătălin Croitoru, 2012. "Sustainability Of Fiscal Policy. Case Of Romania," Revista Tinerilor Economisti (The Young Economists Journal), University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, pages 13-22.
    10. Xavier Debrun & Radhicka Kapoor, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Stability: New Evidence and Policy Implications," Revista de Economía y Estadística, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Instituto de Economía y Finanzas, vol. 0(2), pages 69-101, July.
    11. Hideaki Tanaka, 2005. "Fiscal Rules and Targets and Public Expenditure Management: Enthusiasm in the 1990's and its Aftermath," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 346, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    12. Stoian, Andreea, 2012. "Fiscal Sustainability of the European Welfare State: Evidence from Cumulative Excess of the Primary Balance," Working Papers 27/2012, Universidade Portucalense, Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia (CIGE).
    13. Sena Kimm GNANGNON, 2011. "The consequences of Fiscal Episodes in OECD Countries for Aid Supply," Working Papers 201122, CERDI.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:14:y:2000:i:3:p:3-19. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.