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Early US Struggles with Fiscal Federalism: Lessons for Europe?


  • Richard Sylla

    () (Stern School of Business, New York University, 44 West, 4th Street, New York, NY 10012, USA.)


Europe’s struggles with fiscal federalism, sovereign state debts, and the euro common currency have been compared and contrasted with the success of the United States in launching durable institutions in these areas two centuries ago. Then, the American finance minister Hamilton instituted a series of reforms that put US fiscal federalism on a lasting footing. Not noted in today’s discussions is that Hamilton’s efforts in the early 1790s were a second attempt. A decade earlier, another finance minister, Morris, tried and failed to accomplish what Hamilton did. Morris’s failure as well as Hamilton’s success may have pertinent lessons for Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Sylla, 2014. "Early US Struggles with Fiscal Federalism: Lessons for Europe?," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 56(2), pages 157-175, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:56:y:2014:i:2:p:157-175

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