Found 513 article(s) for author 'Fiscal Policy'

Effects of Austerity: Expenditure- and Tax-based Approaches

Effects of Austerity: Expenditure- and Tax-based Approaches. Alberto Alesina, Spring 2019, Paper, “Sometimes governments need to reduce their budget deficits aggressively. These policies are labeled “austerity.” Almost always austerity is needed because excessive debt has been accumulated, as a result of policy mistakes and political distortions (Alesina and Passalacqua 2016; Yared, in this issue). The austerity policies embraced by several European countries starting in 2010 have generated an extraordinarily harsh policy debate. One side has argued that austerity is (almost) always a bad idea. From this perspective, even European countries that were experiencing serious difficulties in financial markets—either by being totally cut off from borrowing like Greece, or by paying high risk premia like Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Italy—should have continued to stimulate their economies with high levels of government spending. Austerity, the argument continues, was self-defeating because the recessions it induced, or extended, only increased government debt as a ratio of GDP. Blanchard and Leigh (2014) argued that this round of austerity was particularly costly: in other words, fiscal multipliers were especially high. The other side argued that postponing austerity would have caused Effects.Link

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Evolution or Revolution? Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy after the Great Recession

Evolution or Revolution? Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy after the Great Recession. Lawrence Summers, 2019, Book, “Leading economists discuss post–financial crisis policy dilemmas, including the dangers of complacency in a period of relative stability. The Great Depression led to the Keynesian revolution and dramatic shifts in macroeconomic theory and macroeconomic policy. Similarly, the stagflation of the 1970s led to the adoption of the natural rate hypothesis and to a major reassessment of the role of macroeconomic policy. Should the financial crisis and the Great Recession lead to yet another major reassessment, to another intellectual revolution? Will it? If so, what form should it, or will it, take? These are the questions taken up in this book, in a series of contributions by policymakers and academics. The contributors discuss the complex role of the financial sector, the relative roles of monetary and fiscal policy, the limits of monetary policy to address financial stability, the need for fiscal policy to play a more active role in stabilization, and the relative roles of financial regulation and macroprudential tools. The general message is a warning against going back to precrisis ways—to narrow inflation targeting, little use of fiscal policy for stabilization, and insufficient financial regulation.Link

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On falling neutral real rates, fiscal policy, and the risk of secular stagnation

On falling neutral real rates, fiscal policy, and the risk of secular stagnation. Lawrence Summers, March 7, 2019, Paper, “This paper demonstrates that neutral real interest rates would have declined by far more than what has been observed in the industrial world and would in all likelihood be significantly negative but for offsetting fiscal policies over the last generation. We start by arguing that neutral real interest rates are best estimated for the block of all industrial economies given capital mobility between them and relatively limited fluctuations in their collective current account. We show, using standard econometric procedures and looking at direct market indicators of prospective real rates, that neutral real interest rates have declined by at least 300 basis points over the last generation. We argue that these secular movements are in larger part a reflection of changes in saving and investment propensities rather than the safety and liquidity properties of Treasury instruments.Link

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Immigration and Preferences for Redistribution in Europe

Immigration and Preferences for Redistribution in Europe. Alberto Alesina, February 2019, Paper, “We examine the relationship between immigration and attitudes toward redistribution using a newly assembled data set of immigrant stocks for 140 regions of 16 Western European countries. Exploiting within-country variations in the share of immigrants at the regional level, we find that native respondents display lower support for redistribution when the share of immigrants in their residence region is higher. This negative association is driven by regions of countries with relatively large Welfare States and by respondents at the center or at the right of the political spectrum. The effects are also stronger when immigrants originate from Middle-Eastern countries, are less skilled than natives, and experience more residential segregation. These results are unlikely to be driven by immigrants’ endogenous location choices.Link

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What Green New Deal advocates can learn from the 2009 economic stimulus act

What Green New Deal advocates can learn from the 2009 economic stimulus act. Joseph Aldy, February 15, 2019, Opinion, “Congressional Democrats have introduced a “Green New Deal” proposal that calls for a 10-year national mobilization to curb climate change by shifting the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels. Many progressives support this idea, while skeptics argue that a decade is not long enough to remake our nation’s energy system.Link

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Who’s Afraid of Budget Deficits?

Who’s Afraid of Budget Deficits? Jason Furman, Lawrence Summers, January 27, 2019, Opinion, “The United States’ annual budget deficit is set to reach nearly $1 trillion this year, more than four percent of GDP and up from $585 billion in 2016. As a result of the continuing shortfall, over the next decade, the national debt—the total amount owed by the U.S. government—is projected to balloon from its current level of 78 percent of GDP to 105 percent of GDP. Such huge amounts of debt are unprecedented for the United States during a time of economic prosperity.Link

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The Shutdown Could Disrupt The U.S. Economy In A Big Way

The Shutdown Could Disrupt The U.S. Economy In A Big Way. Nancy Koehn, January 8, 2019, Audio, “Will the government shutdown have a long-term impact on the U.S. economy? Nancy Koehn, professor at the Harvard Business School, said that the shutdown could disrupt the economy on both a micro and macro level. “What’s interesting to me as someone who has done a lot of economic work is how we’re beginning to see the cascading consequences,” she said on Boston Public Radio Tuesday. There are individual pains — like farmers not being able to get loans or aid to help cope with the U.S.-China trade war.Link

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To avoid government shutdowns, fix the budget process

To avoid government shutdowns, fix the budget process. Linda Bilmes, January 7, 2019, Opinion, “In the musical “Hamilton,” the protagonists riff on dueling: Aaron Burr: Can we agree that duels are dumb and immature? Alexander Hamilton: Sure. But your man has to answer for his words, Burr. (As we all know, Burr fatally shot Hamilton. Duels were not outlawed until 40 years later). Pressley requests back pay for federal contract workers.  The furloughed contract workers have gone without a paycheck since the start of a partial government shutdown last month. Federal government shutdowns are the modern equivalent of duels — a dumb and immature way to resolve disputes. The current shutdown has closed 25 percent of the government over a dispute that amounts to just .001 percent of the federal budget.Link

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