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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 14 No. 3 (Summer 2000)

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The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the United States

Article Citation

Alesina, Alberto. 2000. "The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the United States." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(3): 3-19.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.3.3

Abstract

Current surpluses in the U.S. have been achieved by a combination of a strong economy, low interest rates, and sharp cuts in defense spending. These surpluses follow a period (the 1980s) of rather exceptional budget deficit. This paper investigates the origin, size, and expected future patterns of the U.S. budget balance. It discusses how different political forces may generate alternative fiscal scenarios for the U.S. in the next decade.

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Authors

Alesina, Alberto (Harvard U, NBER, and CEPR)

JEL Classifications

E62: Fiscal Policy
H61: National Budget; Budget Systems
P16: Capitalist Systems: Political Economy

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