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Fiscal Policy, Past and Present

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  • Alan J. Auerbach

Abstract

This paper begins with a review of the current fiscal situation and the causes of its recent deterioration. As a guide to possible policy actions, it provides extensive estimates of past responses of revenues and expenditures at the federal and state and local level. Estimates at the federal level suggest that policy is responsive to both economic and fiscal conditions, and that this responsiveness may have grown over time. For states, economic conditions are less important, but responses to budget gaps are swifter. Equations for federal revenues and expenditures predict tax cuts and expenditure increases given current conditions, but of a considerably smaller magnitude than those initially proposed by President Bush. However, current circumstances are difficult to evaluate because of the enormous implicit entitlement liabilities that were much less significant in the past. This difficulty is but one of the problems facing policy prediction and evaluation.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan J. Auerbach, 2003. "Fiscal Policy, Past and Present," NBER Working Papers 10023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jordi Galí & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
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    5. Auerbach, Alan J, 1983. "Taxation, Corporate Financial Policy and the Cost of Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 905-940, September.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Roberto Perotti & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2002. "Fiscal Policy, Profits, and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 571-589, June.
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    8. Auerbach, Alan J, 1989. "Tax Reform and Adjustment Costs: The Impact on Investment and Market Value," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(4), pages 939-962, November.
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    11. Poterba, James M, 1994. "State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 799-821, August.
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    16. repec:hrv:faseco:3353756 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hassett, Kevin, 1992. "Tax policy and business fixed investment in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 141-170, March.
    18. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Kent Smetters, 2003. "Fiscal and generational imbalances: new budget measures for new budget priorities," Policy Discussion Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Dec.
    19. Auerbach, Alan J., 2002. "Taxation and corporate financial policy," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 19, pages 1251-1292 Elsevier.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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