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The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the United States

  • Alberto Alesina

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.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 14 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 3-19

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:14:y:2000:i:3:p:3-19
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.3.3
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  11. 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.
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  13. Roberto Perotti & Massimo V. Rostagno & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "Electoral System and Public Spending," IMF Working Papers 01/22, International Monetary Fund.
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