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Budget Institutions and Fiscal Policy in the U.S. States

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  • James M. Poterba

Abstract

This paper summarizes state balanced budget requirements, and the available empirical evidence on the effect of these rules on state fiscal policies. Existing state rules differ from many current proposals at the federal level. They are typically restricted to part of the state budget, they frequently permit short term borrowing, and they lack formal enforcement mechanisms. The paper also surveys previous research on how anti-deficit provisions affect state fiscal policy. The available evidence indicates that stringent anti-deficit provisions lead to more rapid adjustment of state taxes and expenditures when fiscal deficits emerge. This suggests that changing the federal budget process has the potential to affect federal fiscal policy.

Suggested Citation

  • James M. Poterba, 1996. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Policy in the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5449
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Poterba, James M., 1995. "Balanced Budget Rules and Fiscal Policy: Evidence From the States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 48(3), pages 329-336, September.
    3. Bunch, Beverly S, 1991. "The Effect of Constitutional Debt Limits on Stage Governments' Use of Public Authorities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 68(1-3), pages 57-69, January.
    4. Poterba, James M., 1995. "Balanced Budget Rules and Fiscal Policy: Evidence From the States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(3), pages 329-36, September.
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    JEL classification:

    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems

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