The U.S. Fiscal Problem: Where We Are, How We Got Here and Where We're Going
Опубликовано на портале: 25-08-2003
1. Until the past year, deficit projections over the past decade have been consistently too optimistic; had initial projections for the current fiscal year proved accurate, the deficit-reducing policies of the early 1990s already would have driven the federal budget well into surplus; there is no single explanation for these large and systematic forecasting errors.
2. The budget rules that legislators have developed to control deficits, including those now in effect, are ill-designed for their apparent purpose. They fail to compensate for forecasting errors and encourage shifts in the timing of revenues and expenditures. The paper presents evidence that such shifting has followed the incentives of the different schemes.
3. The projected decline in the deficit as a share of GDP over the next few years reflects not only the policies already enacted but also the continuation of significant real reductions in discretionary spending -- representing a drop of 2.2 percent of GDP between 1994 and 2004.
4. Even if such optimistic forecasts prove to be correct, longer run projections suggest that current fiscal policy is unsustainable. Without any growth in the relative price of health care, the demographic transition still is projected to lead to sharp increases in Social Security and Medicare benefits as a share of GDP, and primary deficits of nearly 4 percent of GDP.
Cтатья представлена в сборнике NBER Working Paper. Полный текст представлен на странице, посвященной этой статье, в формате *.pdf.
Searching for Non-linear Effects of Fiscal Policy: Evidence from Industrial and Developing Countries
NBER Working Paper Series. 2000. No. 7460.