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Starving the Beast? Intra-Generational Conflict and Balanced Budget Rules

A balanced budget requirement does not only prevent fiscal policy makers from smoothing tax distortions but also affects their preferred choice of government spending. The paper analyzes the conditions under which groups opposed to government spending might want to implement a balanced budget requirement in order to induce the government to spend less. It shows that relaxing a balanced budget requirement need not be associated with higher government spending.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee in its series Working Papers with number 05.04.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:szg:worpap:0504
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  1. Alesina, Alberto F & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," CEPR Discussion Papers 269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Robert A. J. Dur & Ben D. Peletier & Otto H. Swank, 1999. "Voting on the Budget Deficit: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1377-1381, December.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Allan Drazen, 1989. "Why are Stabilizations Delayed?," NBER Working Papers 3053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  5. James M. Poterba, 1993. "State Responses to Fiscal Crisis: The Effects of Budgetary Institutionsand Politics," NBER Working Papers 4375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Are consumption taxes really better than income taxes?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 475-503, June.
  7. Alan S. Blinder & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1983. "Public Opinion and the Balanced Budget," NBER Working Papers 1234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  10. de Figueiredo, Rui Jr., 2003. "Budget institutions and political insulation: why states adopt the item veto," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2677-2701, December.
  11. Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Tax Smoothing versus Tax Shifting," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 27-51, January.
  12. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational Accounts - A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," NBER Working Papers 3589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, 1996. "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1996. "Budget Deficits and Budget Institutions," IMF Working Papers 96/52, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
  17. J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "Introduction," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 249-254, November.
  18. V.V. Chari & Harold Cole, 1993. "Why are representative democracies fiscally irresponsible?," Staff Report 163, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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