On the Case for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Marina Azzimonti (),
Marco Battaglini () and
Stephen Coate ()
MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany
This paper uses the political economy model of Battaglini and Coate (2008) to analyze the impact of a balanced budget rule that requires that legislators do not run deficits. It considers both a strict rule which cannot be circumvented and a rule that can be overridden by a super-majority of legislators. A strict rule leads to a gradual but substantial reduction in the level of public debt. In the short run, citizens will be worse off as public spending is reduced and taxes are raised to bring down debt. In the long run, the benefits of a lower debt burden must be weighed against the costs of greater volatility in taxes and less responsive public good provision. To quantify these effects, the model is calibrated to the U.S. economy using data from 1940-2005. While the long run net benefits are positive, they are outweighed by the short run costs of debt reduction. A rule with a super-majority override has no effect on citizen welfare or fiscal policy.
Keywords: Balanced Budget Amendment; Political Economy; Markov Equilibrium; Bargaining (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H21 C70 D60 E60 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe and nep-pol
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (39) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/25935/1/MPRA_paper_25935.pdf original version (application/pdf)
Working Paper: On the Case for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (2009)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:25935
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Joachim Winter ().