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The Costs and Benefits of Fiscal Rules: Evidence from U.S. States

Alberto Alesina () and Tamim Bayoumi

No 5614, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: This paper shows that in American states balanced budget rules are effective in enforcing fiscal discipline but they have no costs in terms of increased output variability. More specifically, we show that tighter fiscal rules are associated with larger average surplus and lower cyclical variability of the budget balance. However, the lower flexibility of the budget balance does not affect state output variability.

Date: 1996-06
Note: ME PE
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Published as "Together or Separately? Issues on the Costs and Benefits of Political and Fiscal Unions", European Economic Review, Vol. 39, nos. 3-4(1995).

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