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Implementing the New Fiscal Policy Activism

  • Alan J. Auerbach

To many observers, the current recession provides compelling circumstances for renewed fiscal policy activism. But the strong support for fiscal policy intervention reflects a renewed belief in policy activism that had already appeared before the present crisis. However, the recent debate about possible fiscal policy interventions suggests that we are still relying on the approaches to discretionary policy used in past periods of policy activism. It is not surprising that there have been few advances in discretionary policy design, given the lack of favor such policy suffered over many years. But if we are going to practice fiscal discretionary policy on a large scale, then more attention to policy design is sorely needed.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14725.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Publication status: published as Alan J. Auerbach, 2009. "Implementing the New Fiscal Policy Activism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 543-49, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14725
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  1. Rosanne Altshuler & Alan Auerbach & Michael Cooper & Matthew Knittel, 2011. "Understanding U.S. Corporate Tax Losses," Departmental Working Papers 201124, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach, 2003. "Fiscal Policy, Past and Present," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 75-138.
  3. Alan Auerbach, 2002. "Is There a Role for Discretionary Fiscal Policy?," NBER Working Papers 9306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & Daniel Feenberg, 2000. "The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers," NBER Working Papers 7662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  6. Alan J. Auerbach, 2008. "Federal Budget Rules: The US Experience," NBER Working Papers 14288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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