IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/6119.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Quantifying the Current U.S. Fiscal Imbalance

Author

Listed:
  • Alan J. Auerbach

Abstract

This paper considers the magnitude of the U.S. fiscal imbalance, as measured by the permanent changes needed to stabilize the national debt as a share of GDP. At present, even after recent improvements in forecast deficits, this imbalance stands at 5.3 percent of GDP -- several times the magnitude of the current official deficit. The imbalance is due primarily to the growth of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Addressing an imbalance of this size will require significant policy changes. Even if current projected reductions in other government spending occur, and policies are adopted to eliminate the estimated OASDI imbalance and balance the federal budget in 2002, an additional and immediate reduction in the primary deficit of 2.7 percent of GDP will be required to establish a feasible fiscal policy. Waiting to adopt policy changes will increase the size of the required annual primary deficit reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan J. Auerbach, 1997. "Quantifying the Current U.S. Fiscal Imbalance," NBER Working Papers 6119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6119
    Note: PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6119.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ronald Lee & Shripad Tuljapurkar, 1998. "Stochastic Forecasts for Social Security," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 393-428 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1994. "Generational Accounting: A Meaningful Way to Evaluate Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 73-94, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Dagney Faulk & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Sally Wallace, 2007. "Using Human-Capital Theory to Establish a Potential-Income Tax," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(3), pages 415-435, September.
    2. Gemma Abío & Eduard Berenguer & Holger Bonin & Joan Gil & Concepció Patxot, 2003. "Is the deficit under control? A generational accounting perspective on fiscal policy and labour market trends in Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 27(2), pages 309-341, May.
    3. Holger Bonin & Concepció Patxot & Guadalupe Souto, 2014. "Cyclically‐Neutral Generational Accounting," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 35, pages 117-137, June.
    4. Tilak Abeysinghe & Ananda Jayawickrama, 2013. "A segmented trend model to assess fiscal sustainability: The US experience 1929–2009," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1129-1141, June.
    5. Muriel Bouchet, 2003. "The sustainability of the private sector pension system from a long-term perspective: the case of Luxembourg," BCL working papers 6, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    6. Sally Wallace, 2010. "Can Georgia Move from Income Tax to Consumption Tax?," Chapters,in: State and Local Fiscal Policy, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. John Stephenson & Grant Scobie, 2002. "The Economics of Population Ageing," Treasury Working Paper Series 02/04, New Zealand Treasury.
    8. Kevin J. Stiroh, 1998. "Long-Run Growth Projections And The Aggregate Production Function: A Survey Of Models Used By The U.S. Government," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 467-479, October.
    9. Robert A. Eisenbeis & George G. Kaufman, 2016. "Not All Financial Crises Are Alike!," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 44(1), pages 1-31, March.
    10. Alberto Alesina, 2000. "The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 3-19, Summer.
    11. Alberto Alesina, 2000. "The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 7496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Fuhmei Wang, 2009. "The effects of foreign borrowing policies on economic growth: success or failure?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 273-284.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6119. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.