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The political economy of balanced budget amendments

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  • Marina Azzimonti-Renzo

Abstract

A balanced budget amendment is a constitutional rule requiring that the government collect enough revenue to finance its expenditures every year. The motivation for introducing such a rule is the desire to restrict deficit spending and limit increases in government debt. However, policymakers strongly disagree about the rule?s coverage and provisions. In particular, they disagree on how to define the terms revenue and expenditures and under which conditions exceptions to the rule should be allowed. In this article, Marina Azzimonti provides an overview of the arguments raised by proponents and opponents to the balanced budget amendment, emphasizing its economic consequences. She then describes recent findings in the academic literature that analyze the impact of similar rules at the state level. Finally, she summarizes theoretical findings that aim to compute the impact of a balanced budget rule on economic and policy variables, together with its effects on consumers? welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Marina Azzimonti-Renzo, 2013. "The political economy of balanced budget amendments," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q1, pages 11-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpbr:y:2013:i:q1:p:11-20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Asatryan, Zareh & Castellón, César & Stratmann, Thomas, 2018. "Balanced budget rules and fiscal outcomes: Evidence from historical constitutions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 105-119.
    2. Jairo Andrés Castaño Peña, 2020. "Las cláusulas de disciplina fiscal en las constituciones del Estado social de derecho : la sostenibilidad fiscal en Colombia y el principio de estabilidad presupuestaria en España," Books, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Facultad de Derecho, number 1186.
    3. Ioannis N. Kallianiotis, 2015. "Economic Crises and the Substitution of Fiscal Policy by Monetary Policy," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 5(1), pages 44-68.
    4. Kevin X.D. Huang & Qinglai Meng & Jianpo Xue, 2018. "Balanced‐Budget Rules and Aggregate Instability: The Role of Endogenous Capital Utilization," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 50(8), pages 1669-1709, December.
    5. Ioannis N. Kallianiotis, 2015. "The Optimal Taxation and the Current Tax System," International Journal of Economics and Empirical Research (IJEER), The Economics and Social Development Organization (TESDO), vol. 3(3), pages 151-164, March.

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