Found 44 article(s) for author 'Alberto Alesina'

Alberto Alesina on Inequality, Immigration, and Austerity

Alberto Alesina on Inequality, Immigration, and Austerity July 2018. GrowthPolicy’s Devjani Roy interviewed Alberto Alesina, the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University, on inequality, immigration, and austerity. | Click here for more interviews like this one. Links: Alberto Alesina’s faculty page at Harvard | Publications | NBER research page | Wikipedia Growthpolicy.org. […]

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Immigration and Redistribution

Immigration and Redistribution. Alberto Alesina, June 2018, Paper, “We design and conduct large-scale surveys and experiments in six countries to investigate how natives’ perceptions of immigrants influence their preferences for redistribution. We find strikingly large biases in natives’ perceptions of the number and characteristics of immigrants: in all countries, respondents greatly overestimate the total number of immigrants, think immigrants are culturally and religiously more distant from them, and are economically weaker – less educated, more unemployed, poorer, and more reliant on government transfers – than is the case.Link

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Climbing out of Debt

Climbing out of Debt. Alberto Alesina, March 2018, Paper, “Almost a decade after the onset of the global financial crisis, national debt in advanced economies remains near its highest level since World War II, averaging 104 percent of GDP. In Japan, the ratio is 240 percent and in Greece almost 185 percent. In Italy and Portugal, debt exceeds 120 percent of GDP.” Link

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What do we know about the effects of Austerity?

What do we know about the effects of Austerity? Alberto Alesina, January 2018, Paper, “This paper summarizes the results of a large recent literature on multi year fiscal plans for deficit reduction (austerity). The key results are that deficit reduction policies based upon spending cuts are much less costly in terms of short run output losses than tax based adjustments. On average fiscal adjustment based upon spending cuts have very small output costs and in some cases they are expansionary. We then discuss which possible models can explain these findings and discuss how the evidence can disentangle them.Link

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The Effects of Fiscal Consolidations: Theory and Evidence

The Effects of Fiscal Consolidations: Theory and Evidence. Alberto Alesina, May 2017, Paper, “We investigate the macroeconomic effects of fiscal consolidations based upon government spending cuts, transfers cuts and tax hikes. We extend a narrative dataset of fiscal consolidations, finding details on over 3500 measures. Government spending and transfer cuts reduce output by less than tax hikes. Standard New Keynesian models match our results when fiscal shocks are persistent. Wealth effects on aggregate demand mitigates the impact of a persistent spending cut. Static distortions caused by persistent tax hikes cause larger shifts in aggregate supply under sticky prices. This channel explains different sizes of multipliers found in fiscal stimuli compared to consolidation plans.Link

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Is it the “How” or the “When” that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments?

Is it the “How” or the “When” that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments? Alberto Alesina, October 2016, Paper, “Using data from 16 OECD countries from 1981 to 2014, we find that the composition of fiscal adjustments is much more important than the state of the cycle in determining their effects on output. Fiscal adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly than those based upon tax increases, regardless of whether the adjustment starts in a recession or not.Link

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Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution

Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution. Alberto Alesina, October 26, 2016, Paper, “Using newly collected cross-country survey and experimental data, we investigate how beliefs about intergenerational mobility affect individuals’ preferences for redistribution. We start by documenting the anatomy of views on mobility, fairness, the government, and redistribution across five countries: France, Italy, Sweden, the U.S., and the U.K. We show that Americans are more optimistic than Europeans about intergenerational mobility, and are generally too optimistic relative to reality, especially about the chances of making it from the very bottom to the very top quintile.Link

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The Effects of Austerity: Recent Research

The Effects of Austerity: Recent Research. Alberto Alesina, October 2015, Paper. “What are the costs in terms of output losses of so-called “austerity” policies designed to reduce large government deficits and mounting public debt? The debate on this issue is raging, especially after the latest round of austerity in Europe.  The question is difficult to answer for at least three reasons. The first is “endogeneity,” the two-way interaction between fiscal policy and output growth. Suppose you observe a reduction in the government deficit and an economic boom. It would be highly questionable to conclude that deficit reduction policies generate growth…Link

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The output effect of fiscal consolidation plans

The output effect of fiscal consolidation plans. Alberto Alesina, June 2015, Paper. “We show that the correct experiment to evaluate the effects of a fiscal adjustment is the simulation of a multi-year fiscal plan rather than of individual fiscal shocks. Simulation of fiscal plans adopted by 16 OECD countries over a 30-year period supports the hypothesis that the effects of consolidations depend on their design. Fiscal adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly, in terms of output losses, than tax-based ones and have especially low output costs when they consist of permanent rather than stop-and-go changes in taxes and spending…Link

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The Political Economy of Government Debt

The Political Economy of Government Debt. Alberto Alesina, March 2015, Paper. “This paper critically reviews the literature which explains why and under which circumstances governments accumulate more debt than it would be consistent with the prescriptions of optimal fiscal policy. Departures from optimality are linked to various political mechanisms which make real world governments depart from what a social planner should do. We also discuss numerical rules or institutional designs which might lead to a moderation of these distortions.” Link

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